Strange Things Done In The Midnight Sun

A week of famous narrative poems.

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Episodes

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AR01The Pied Piper Of Hamelin2005091920070917

By Robert Browning.

Tennyson's famous children's work in the original.

The surprisingly dark, familiar tale of the mass abduction of children.

First published in 1842.

Read by Stephen Campbell Moore

AR02Goblin Market2005092020070918

By Christina Rossetti.

Rossetti's sensual allegorical work about the pleasure and pain of surrendering to our desires.

Two young girls are tempted by goblins to purchase the fruit they have to offer.

Despite the warning example of a local girl who wasted away after eating the goblins' wares, Laura cannot resist.

First published in 1862.

Read by Daniela Denby-ashe

AR03The Ghosts From Hiawatha2005092120070919

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

A romantic vision of the Native American leader.

First published in 1855, it was proclaimed the first American epic poem, though the stories are believed to be drawn largely from Nordic folklore rather than Native American myth.

In The Ghosts, Hiawatha receives a visitation from the land of the dead.

Read by Geoffrey Whitehead

AR04The Shooting Of Dan Mcgrew - The Cremation Of Sam Mcghee2005092220070920

By Robert Service.

Robert Service's comic-strip style poems about frontiersmen and the American West - complete with square-jawed heroes and buxom gals.

First published in 1908.

Read by Cal Macaninch

AR05 LASTPeter Grimes2005092320070921

By George Crabbe.

Crabbe's devastating poem The Borough, tells the story of a sadistic man, Peter Grimes, who murders his young apprentices and shows no remorse.

His shamelessness does not, however, go unavenged as the ghosts of the boys join his dead father to hound Grimes to his grave.

First published in 1810, the poem was the inspiration behind Britten's famous opera.

Read by Alexander Morton