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.

The Trick

In a wasted time, it’s only when I sleep

that all my senses come awake. In the wake

of you, let day not break. Let me keep

the scent, the weight, the bright of you, take

the countless hours and count them all night through

till that time comes when you come to the door

of dreams, carrying oranges that cast a glow

up into your face. Greedy for more

than the gift of seeing you, I lean in to taste

the colour, kiss it off your offered mouth.

For this, for this, I fall asleep in haste,

willing to fall for the trick that tells the truth

that even your shade makes darkest absence bright,

that shadows live wherever there is light.

from On Shakespeare’s Sonnets: A Poets’ Celebration edited by Hannah Crawforth & Elizabeth Scott-Baumann (Bloomsbury, 2016), © Imtiaz Dharker, used by permission of the author

Imtiaz Dharker in the Poetry Store

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