Poem of the Week

Waiting for Rain in Devon, Peter Porter (b.1929) ) ' Rain here on a tableau of cows might seem a return to everyday - why, you can almost poach the trout with your hands, their element has so thickened! Something has emerged from dreams to show us where we are going, a journey to a desolate star. Come back, perennial rain, stand your soft sculptures in our gardens for the barefoot frogs to leap.'

Our earlier Poems of the Week are below

Poem of the Week November 20th

from Requiem, Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966)Translated by Richard McKane 'The hour of remembrance has drawn close again. I see you, hear you, feel you: the one they could hardly get to the window, the one who no longer walks on this earth, the one who shook her beautiful head, and said: 'Coming here is like coming home.' I would like to name them all but they took away the list and there's no way of finding them. For them I have woven a wide shroud from the humble words I heard among them. I remember them always, everywhere, I will never forget them, whatever comes.'

Poem of the Week November 13th

The General , Siegfried Sassoon ' Good-morning, good-morning!” the General said When we met him last week on our way to the line. Now the soldiers he smiled at are most of 'em dead, And we're cursing his staff for incompetent swine. “He's a cheery old card,” grunted Harry to Jack As they slogged up to Arras with rifle and pack. But he did for them both by his plan of attack.'

Poem of the Week November 6th

Leaf , Seán Hewitt from Tongues of Fire 'For woods are forms of grief grown from the earth. For they creak with the weight of it. For each tree is an altar to time. For the oak, whose every knot guards a hushed cymbal of water. For how the silver water holds the heavens in its eye. For the axletree of heaven and the sleeping coil of wind and the moon keeping watch. For how each leaf traps light as it falls. For even in the nighttime of life it is worth living, just to hold it.'

Poem of the Week October 30th

The Palm Trees at Chigawe. Jack Mapanje 'You stood like women in green Proud travellers in panama hats and java print'

Poem of the Week October 23rd

Ibadan J.P. Clark-Bekederemo ' Ibadan, running splash of rust and gold - flung and scattered among seven hills like broken china in the sun.'

Poem of the Week October 16th

Anti-Slavery Movements. Benjamin Zephaniah 'Some people say Animal liberators are not Working in the interest of animals. But I've never seen liberated animals Protest by going back to their place Of captivity. But then again I've never heard of any liberated slaves Begging for more humiliation Or voting for slavery. Animals vote with their feet Or their wings Or their fins.

Poem of the Week October 9th

Map of the New World: Archipelagoes , Derek Walcott ' At the end of this sentence, rain will begin. At the rain's edge, a sail. Slowly the sail will lose sight of islands; into a mist will go the belief in harbours of an entire race. The ten-years war is finished. Helen's hair, a grey cloud. Troy, a white ashpit by the drizzling sea. The drizzle tightens like the strings of a harp. A man with clouded eyes picks up the rain and plucks the first line of the Odyssey.'

Poem of the Week October 2nd

Come. and be my baby ,Maya Angelou 'The highway is full of big cars going nowhere fast And folks is smoking anything that'll burn Some people wrap their lives around a cocktail glass And you sit wondering where you're going to turn. I got it. Come. And be my baby. Some prophets say the world is gonna end tomorrow But others say we've got a week or two The paper is full of every kind of blooming horror And you sit wondering what you're gonna do. I got it. Come. And be my baby.'

Poem of the Week September 25th

No Man is an Island, John Donne. 'No Man is an Island, Entire of Itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were. Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. '

Poem of the Week September 18th

Celia Celia, Adrian Mitchell ' When I am sad and weary When I think all hope has gone When I walk along High Holborn I think of you with nothing on'

Poem of the Week September 11th

Autumn Evening, Matsuo Basho ' Autumn evening- A crow on a bare branch'

Poem of the Week September 4th

Anise Koltz Tr. John Montague , The Birds Will Still Sing ' Les oiseaux continuent à chanter Abattez mes branches sciez-moi en morceaux les oiseaux continuent à chanter dans mes racines The Birds Will Still Sing Break my branches saw me into bits the birds will still sing in my roots'

Poem of the Week August 28th

Love in a Bathtub, Sujata Bhatt ' Years later we'll remember the bathtub the position of the taps the water, slippery as if a bucketful of eels had joined us ... we'll be old, our children grown up but we'll remember the water sloshing out the useless soap, the mountain of wet towels. 'Remember the bathtub in Belfast?' we'll prod each other-'

Poem of the Week August 21st

Stars & Planets, Norman MacCaig 'Trees are cages for them: water holds its breath To balance them without smudging on its delicate meniscus. Children watch them playing in their heavenly playground; Men use them to lug ships across oceans, through firths. They seem so twinkle-still, but they never cease Inventing new spaces and huge explosions And migrating in mathematical tribes over The steppes of space at their outrageous ease. It’s hard to think that the earth is one – This poor sad bearer of wars and disasters Rolls-Roycing round the sun with its load of gangsters, Attended only by the loveless moon.'

Poem of the Week August 14th

This Is Just To Say , William Carlos Williams Poems on the Underground Poster January 1986 'I have eaten the plums that were in the icebox and which you were probably saving for breakfast Forgive me they were delicious so sweet and so cold'

Poem of the Week August 7th

Midsummer, Tobago, Derek Walcott 'Broad sun-stoned beaches. White heat. A green river. A bridge, scorched yellow palms from the summer-sleeping house drowsing through August. Days I have held, days I have lost, days that outgrow, like daughters, my harbouring arms.'

Poem of the Week July 31st

W.H. Auden, Song ' Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone, Silence the pianos and with muffled drum Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come. Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead, Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves, Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves. He was my North, my South, my East and West, My working week and my Sunday rest, My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song; I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong. The stars are not wanted now: put out every one; Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun; Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood; For nothing now can ever come to any good.'

Poem of the Week July 24th

Day Trip, Carole Satymurti ' Two women, seventies, hold hands on the edge of Essex, hair in strong nets, shrieked laughter echoing gulls as shingle sucks from under feet easing in brine.'

Poem of the Week July 17th

I am Becoming My Mother, Lorna Goodison Poems on the Underground Poster 1987 'I Am Becoming My Mother Yellow/brown woman fingers smelling always of onions My mother raises rare blooms and waters them with tea her birth waters sang like rivers my mother is now me My mother had a linen dress the colour of the sky and stored lace and damask tablecloths to pull shame out of her eye. I am becoming my mother brown/yellow woman fingers smelling always of onions.'

Poem of the Week July 10th

Black Ink, Fawzi Karim, in a version by Anthony Howell ‘The darkness of this night is greater Than the power of a sultan. Ink from my books, shelf upon shelf of them, Pours down the curtains. Every book is an overturned inkwell. Patience, I say. Day will dawn, And the colours will spill everywhere. Snatching up the brush, I try to paint the walls green, The curtains rosy pink, But now the waves come washing in: Blue – with light’s sporadic wink.’

Poem of the Week July 3rd

from The Greek Anthology, Anyte of Tegea trans. David Constantine ‘Midsummer in the leaves there’s a murmuring breath of air. Among the roots a cold spring bubbles through. Wayfarer, weary to death, here is kindness to spare. Earthly, heavenly, as the tree lives, so may you.’

Poem of the Week June 26

First Fig, Edna St. Vincent Millay 'My candle burns at both ends; It will not last the night; But ah! my foes, and oh, my friends - It gives a lovely light!'

Poem of the Week June 19th

If Bach Had Been a Beekeeper, Charles Tomlinson ' If Bach Had Been a Beekeeper he would have heard all those notes suspended above one another in the air of his ear as the undifferentiated swarm returning to the exact hive to place in the hive, topping up the cells with the honey of C major, food for the listening generations, key to their comfort and solace of their distress as they return and return to those counterpointed levels of hovering wings where movement is dance and the air itself a scented garden'

Poem of the Week June 12th

The Visitor, Carolyn Forché ' In Spanish he whispers there is no time left. It is the sound of scythes arcing in wheat, the ache of some field song in Salvador. The wind along the prison, cautious as Francisco's hands on the inside, touching the walls as he walks, it is his wife's breath slipping into his cell each night while he imagines his hand to be hers. It is a small country. There is nothing one man will not do to another'

Poem of the Week June 5th

Benediction, James Berry 'Thanks to the ear that someone may hear Thanks to seeing that someone may see Thanks to feeling that someone may feel Thanks to touch that one may be touched Thanks to flowering of white moon and spreading shawl of black night holding villages and cities together'

Poem of the Week May 29th

London Bells. Anon ' Two Sticks & an Apple, Ring ye Bells at Whitechapple Old Father Bald Pate, Ring ye Bells Aldgate, Maids in white Aprons, Ring ye Bells a St. Cathrines, Oranges and Lemmons, Ring ye Bells at St. Clemens, When will you pay me, Ring ye Bells at ye Old Bailey, When I am Rich, Ring ye Bells at Fleetditch, When will that be, Ring ye Bells at Stepney, When I am Old, Ring ye great Bell at Pauls.'

Poem of the Week May 22nd

My Father, Yehuda Amichai 'The memory of my father is wrapped up in white paper, like sandwiches taken for a day at work. Just as a magician takes towers and rabbits out of his hat, he drew love from his small body, and the rivers of his hands overflowed with good deeds.'

Poem of the week May 15th

Song: On May Morning, John Milton Now the bright morning star, day's harbinger, Comes dancing from the east, and leads with her The flowery May, who from her green lap throws The yellow cowslip, and the pale primrose. Hail bounteous May that dost inspire Mirth and youth and warm desire! Woods and groves are of thy dressing, Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing. Thus we salute thee with our early song, And welcome thee, and wish thee long.'

Poem of the week May 8th

Poem of the week May 1st

Cuts, Sam Riviere ' I can see that things have gotten pretty bad our way of life threatened by financiers assortments of phoneys and opportunists and very soon the things we cherish most will likely be taken from us the wine from our cellars our silk gowns and opium but tell me what do you expect Chung Ling Soo much ridiculed conjurer of the court and last of the dynasty of brooms to do about it?'

Poem of the week April 24th

Peaceful Waters: Variation, Frederico Garcia Lorca (1898 - 1936) translated by Adrian Mitchell 'peaceful waters of the air under echo's branches peaceful waters of a pool under a bough laden with stars peaceful waters of your mouth under a forest of kisses'

Poem of the week April 17th

from The Song of Solomon, The King James Bible (1611) ' My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my Love, my fair one, and come away. For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over, and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land. The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. '

Poem of the week April 10th

Jean Binta Breeze, Moonwise Moonwise (for my children, all) sometimes you know the moon is not a perfect circle and the master Painter makes a passing brush touch with a cloud don't worry we've passed the dark side all you children rest easy now we are born moonwise'

Poem of the week April 3rd

Ariel's Song from The Tempest, William Shakespeare 'Where the bee sucks, there suck I; In a cowslip's bell I lie; There I couch when owls do cry'

Poem of the week March 27th

For the House Sparrow, in Decline, Paul Farley ' Your numbers fall and it's tempting to think you're deserting our suburbs and estates like your cousins at Pompeii;'

Poem of the week March 20th

At Sixty, Christine De Luca ' Dat line whaar birds, hurless, cross a treshel-tree, winter at der back, or a skirl o simmer afore dem.'

Poem of the week March 13th

Infant Joy, William Blake ' I have no name I am but two days old.- What shall I call thee?

Poem of the week March 6th

Ode to A Nightingale, John Keats 'Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird! No hungry generations tread thee down; The voice I hear this passing night was heard In ancient days by emperor and clown:

Poem of the week February 27th

On the Thames, Karen McCarthy Woolf ‘The houseboat tilts into the water at low tide, ducklings slip in mud. Nothing is stable in this limbo summer, where he leaves his shoes in the flat.’

Poem of the week February 20th

Immigrant, Fleur Adcock 'November '63: eight months in London. I pause on the low bridge to watch the pelicans:'

Poem of the week February 13th

Westron wynde when wylt thou blow, Anon 'Westron wynde when wylt thou blow the small rain down can rain Christ that my love were in my arms and I in my bed again'

Poem of the week February 6th

Rising, Jean Binta Breeze having some summers gone dug out that old tree stump that darkened my garden having waited without planting (for it was impossible then to choose the growth) having lost the dream but not the art of healing having released the roots of pain into content I now stir the skies

Poem of the Week January 30th

In a Young Time, Gerard Benson ‘ In a young time it was skipping and sunlight and the world was acres and there was plunder.’

Poem of the Week January 23rd

Up in the Morning Early ,Robert Burns 'Cauld blaws the wind frae east to west, The drift is driving sairly; Sae loud and shrill's I hear the blast, I'm sure it's winter fairly.'

Poem of the Week January 16th

John Fuller, Concerto for Double Bass ' He is a drunk leaning companionably Around a lamp post or doing up With intermittent concentration Another drunk's coat.'

Poem of the Week January 9th

P. B. Shelley, The World’s Great Age Begins Anew 'The world’s great age begins anew, The golden years return, The earth doth like a snake renew her winter weeds outworn:'

Poem of the Week January 2nd

Love Poems on the Underground Promise   Jackie Kay. Remember, the time of year when the future appears like a blank sheet of paper

Poem of the Week December 26th

The Loch Ness Monster's Song, Edwin Morgan 'Sssnnnwhuffffll? Hnwhuffl hhnnwfl hnflhfl? Gdroblboblhobngbl gbl gl g g g g glbgl'

Poem of the Week December 19th

Eavan Boland, The Emigrant Irish ' Like oil lamps we put them out the back, of our houses, of our minds. We had lights better than, newer than and then a time came, this time and now we need them. Their dread, makeshift example.'

Poem of the Week December 12th

Encounter at St. Martin's, Ken Smith 'I tell a wanderer's tale, the same I began long ago, a boy in a barn, I am always lost in it. The place is always strange to me. In my pocket the wrong money or none, the wrong paper maps of another town, the phrase book for yesterday's language, just a ticket to the next station, and my instructions. In the lobby of the Banco Bilbao a dark woman will slip me a key, a package, the name of a hotel, a numbered account, the first letters of an unknown alphabet.'

Poem of the week December 5th

A dream of leavin, James Berry ' Man, so used to notn, this is a dream I couldn't dream of dreamin so - I scare I might wake up. One day I would be Englan bound! A travel would have me on sea not chained down below, every tick of clock, but free, man! Free like tourist! Never see me coulda touch world of Englan - when from all accounts I hear that is where all we prosperity end up. I was always in a dream of leavin. My half-finished house was on land where work-laden ancestors' bones lay. The old plantation land still stretch-out down to the sea, giving grazing to cattle.'

Poem of the week November 28th

Sisu, Lavinia Greenlaw ‘To persevere in hope of summer. To adapt to its broken promise. To love winter.’

Poem of the Week November 21st

World Poems on the Underground And now goodbye,  Jaroslav Seifert.  Poetry is with us from the start.

Poem of the Week November 14th

Isaiah 2.4 'And they shall beate their swords into plow-shares, and their speares into pruning hookes; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learne warre any more'

Poem of the Week November 7th

Heroes, Kathleen Raine ' This war's dead heroes, who has seen them? They rise, in smoke above the burning city, Faint clouds, dissolving into sky'

Poem of the Week October 31st

Nightsong: City, Dennis Brutus 'Sleep well, my love, sleep well: the harbour lights glaze over restless docks, police cars cockroach through the tunnel streets;'

Poem of the Week October 24th

The Thing Not Said, E.A. Markham ‘We need life-jackets now to float On words which leave so much unsaid.’

Poem of the Week October 17th

A song for England, Andrew Salkey 'An' a so de rain a-fall An 'a so de snow a-rain An 'a so de fog a-fall An 'a so de sun a-fail'

Poem of the Week October 10th

Guinep, Olive Senior 'Our mothers have a thing about guinep: Mind you don't eat guinep in your good clothes. It will stain them.'

Poem of the Week October 3rd

Benediction, James Berry 'Thanks to the ear that someone may hear Thanks to seeing that someone may see'

Poem of the Week September 26th

The Sloth, Theodore Roethke ‘In moving-slow he has no Peer. You ask him something in his Ear, He thinks about it for a Year;’

Poem of the Week September 19th

Layers of Kant reveal: Safrina Ahmed Winner, Foyle Young Poets, 2011 Celebrating 20 years of The Poetry Society’s Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award ‘The clouded mind is Kant without his hair extensions, his eyelash curler. We met last night and he was like Christmas, sad, a tree.’

Poem of the Week September 12th

from Autumn Journal, Louis MacNeice ‘September has come, it is hers Whose vitality leaps in the autumn, Whose nature prefers Trees without leaves and a fire in the fireplace . . .’

Poem of the Week September 5th

For the Life of This Planet, Grace Nichols ‘ The way the red sun surrenders its wholeness to curving ocean bit by bit. The way curving ocean gives birth to the birth of stars in the growing darkness, wearing everything in its path to cosmic smoothness’

Poem of the Week 29th August

Green the land of my poem, Mahmoud Darwish ‘Green the land of my poem is green and high Slowly I tell it slowly with the grace of a seagull riding the waves on the book of water I bequeath it written down to the one who asks to whom shall we sing when salt poisons the dew?’

Poem of the Week 22nd August

Bam Chi Chi La La London, 1969, Lorna Goodison ‘In Jamaica she was a teacher. Here, she is charwoman at night in the West End. She eats a cold midnight meal carried from home’

Poem of the Week 15th August

Gherkin Music, Jo Shapcott ‘walk the spiral up out of the pavement into your own reflection, into transparency, into the space where flat planes are curves and you are transposed’

Poem of the Week 8th August

Moment in a Peace March, Grace Nichols ‘A holy multitude pouring Moment in a Peace March through the gates of Hyde Park – A great hunger repeated in cities all over the world’

Poem of the Week 1st August

And if I speak of Paradise, Roger Robinson ‘And if I speak of Paradise then I’m speaking of my grandmother who told me to carry it always on my person, concealed, so no one else would know but me.’

Poem of the Week July 25th

Love Poems on the Underground  The River Road ,  Sean O’Brien. Come for a walk down the river road, For though you're all a long time dead The waters part to let us pass

Poem of the Week July 18th

London Poems on the Underground  Sweet Thames Flow Softly,   Ewan MacColl. I met my girl at Woolwich Pier, beneath a big crane standing.

Poem of the Week July 11th

My Voice ,Partaw Naderi Translated by Sarah Maguire and Yama Yari ' I come from a distant land with a foreign knapsack on my back with a silenced song on my lips As I travelled down the river of my life I saw my voice (like Jonah) swallowed by a whale And my very life lived in my voice' Kabul, December 1989

Poem of the Week July 4th

African Poems on the Underground I Sing of Change Niyi Osundare I sing of the beauty of Athens without its slaves

Poem of the Week June 29th

Poem of the Week June 22nd

Poem of the Week June 15th

Poem of the Week June 8th

Poem of the Week June 1st

I am Becoming My Mother, Lorna Goodison ' Yellow/brown woman fingers smelling always of onions My mother raises rare blooms and waters them with tea'

Poem of the Week May 25th

The Present, Michael Donaghy ' For the present there is just one moon, though every level pond gives back another .But the bright disc shining in the black lagoon, perceived by astrophysicist and lover ,is milliseconds old. And even that light's seven minutes older than its source. And the stars we think we see on moonless nights are long extinguished. And, of course, this very moment, as you read this line, is literally gone before you know it. Forget the here-and-now. We have no time but this device of wantonness and wit. Make me this present then: your hand in mine, and we'll live out our lives in it.'

Poem of the Week May 18th

Pilgrim ,Eunice de Souza 'The hills crawl with convoys. Slow lights wind round and down the dark ridges to yet another termite city. The red god rock watches all that passes. He spoke once. The blood-red boulders are his witness.. God rock, I'm a pilgrim. Tell me- Where does the heart find rest?'

Poem of the Week May 11th

Poem of the Week May 4th

Poem of the Week April 26th