The Poetry Archive
gives internet users access to poems read by the poets that wrote them. Set up in 1999 by the former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion
and the record producer Richard Carrington, the Poetry Archive
restores the centrality of the oral nature of poetry, allowing access to the poet's own meanings.
FINDING YOUR WAY AROUND
A good place to start is the video introduction by Andrew Motion
, which offers a way into the archive. And then just jump in. The search facility is excellent. You can seek out poems by poet's last name, as well as title, theme and form.
There is a superb glossary of poetic terms, a Children's Archive
, guided tours
of the site from the likes of Monica Ali, Clive James and Rowan Williams, excellent accompanying biographical and critical texts and a very helpful section suggesting ways teachers
could make best use of the site in class. There is also a section for students
, excellent links
to a wide variety of poetry related sites and interviews
with a number of poets.
FROM ARMITAGE TO MILLIGAN
Most of the recordings on the site are new, specially made for the Poetry Archive
, others are taken from commercial recordings. And what recordings they are! We've just listened to Simon Armitage
reading You're Beautiful
, Wendy Cope
reading On a Train
and Spike Milligan
reading The Land of the Bumbly Boo
. You can also hear Auden
, Sylvia Plath
. Our day is immeasurably better.
This beautifully designed site is a not-for-profit enterprise which relies on donations to do its work. And what work it is. This is an exceptional use of the internet. The Poetry Archive
is not about money or celebrity, it is quiet and of itself. There is much to discover here.
29 November 2010