The past has drawn lines on maps; the dead cross over into another country...
can poets speak across borders?
With contributions from Declan McGonagle and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams and poems by Jackie Kay, Ezra Pound, Seamus Heaney, Edward Thomas, Anne Ridler, Henry Vaughan, Dylan Thomas and Emily Bronte.
Shakespeare's Warwickshire feels to some like the literary heart of Britain - should it? Do we still crave heartlands? Can we make them new?
With contributions from Jonathan Bate and Sukhdev Sandhu and poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins, William Langland, Anne Stevenson, William Barnes, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Ivor Gurney, Geoffrey Hill, AE Housman, Philip Larkin and Edward Thomas.
Music is by Malcolm Lindsay.
|03||Landscapes Of The Mind||20050306||20050312|
From lost roads in the woods to fruity goblins tricking innocent girls, the landscape of British poetry is as much made up as real.
Why are we drawn to these make believe places?
Did Wordsworth invent the Lake District? Can we see a mountain without thinking of him and the other Romantic poets who revelled in the sublime? Do peaks diminish us or raise us up?
Our experience of cities as visitors and residents often makes us think of them as labyrinths.
They make us feel delightfully baffled and maddeningly lost.
How have poets responded to them?
|06||Coasts And Edges||20050327||20050402|
How has our island character found its way into our poetry? How was the sea seen before it was thought of as sublime? Do modern connections with the rest of the world mean we no longer write sea poems?
Much of British poetry is made up of poems that are nourished by a landscape that is decidedly not ENGLAND.
How have these places come into our poetry and what have they brought?
With contributions from Neal Ascherson and Joyce Macmillan and poems by Gwyneth Lewis, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Dylan Thomas, Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill, Robert Burns, Kathleen Jamie, Patrick Kavanagh and Grace Nichols.
Music by Malcolm Lindsay.
What inspiration is there in all that sky? Can flat places have as much character as hills or coasts? Do poets crouch or stand tall?
Reader: Tom Courteney
Music: Malcolm Lindsay.
|09||Crowds And Cities||20050417||20050423|
Crowded city streets can be oppressive and energising and poets have given us both love and hate poems to the city.
Crowds and Cities
|10||Exile And Rootlessness||20050424||20050430|
Do we have a clearer sense of here by going there?
This programme looks at ideas such as home seen from abroad; the warm south - a refuge for free thinking, free living, free love? The grand tour; Britain as a home for the exiled of other cultures.
Thames, Dee, Clyde, Mersey, Humber, Avon - the rivers of Britain run blue on our maps and through our poetry, drenching it in sweet and salty water and offering a perfect image of the journey of our lives.
With contributions from Roger Deakin and Peter Randall-Page and poems by John Milton, Ted Hughes, Ts Eliot, William Wordsworth, Christopher Marlowe, Walter De La Mare, Alice Oswald and Gerard Manley Hopkins.
|12 LAST||Off The Map||20050508||20050514|
This programme features poetry suggested by listeners, with a new re-telling by Simon Armitage of the story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.