The British Council has supported these recordings as part of the Shakespeare Lives in 2016 programme celebrating the work of William Shakespeare on the 400th anniversary of his death.

Hearing Voices

‘Yes, you were, you were’, I laughed, ‘golden children!’

Through all those years of hubris, me taking pride,

As though it were my doing, in that golden,

Blameless childhood, you with no cause to hide

Anything more than boyhood’s guilty pleasures.

But how you hid when the sky split, the voices came,

Each with a face you drew, wild familiars,

Grotesques that only talking to could tame.

Then on their heels crept silences: your childhood,

Mother, father, sister, all held at bay,

All suspect. Illness might be in the blood,

Even how we laugh in our DNA.

  Yet how we laughed, there in the sun that spread

  Through leaves and seemed to gild what my son said!

Mimi Khalvati in the Poetry Store

The free tracks you can enjoy in the Poetry Archive are a selection of a poet’s work. Our catalogue store includes many more recordings which you can download to your device.

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