In this special feature length episode, recorded live at Latitude Festival, Nadine Shah and Hannah Jane Walker talk about the poems that have been friends to them.
This is our first live show episode and features work by Philip Larkin, Elizabeth Alexander, Salena Godden and WB Yeats.
We had a brilliant time as part of The Listening Post at Latitude Festival 2019 and are delighted to be sharing it with you, through The Poetry Exchange Podcast. Discover more about Latitude and dates for next year's festival here:
Nadine and Hannah are in conversation with The Poetry Exchange team members, Michael Shaeffer and Fiona Bennett. You can find out more about the brilliant work and art Nadine and Hannah create here:
Hannah reads the gift reading of 'Days' by Philip Larkin.
Nadine reads the gift reading of 'Pessimism is for Lightweights' by Salena Godden.
by Philip Larkin
What are days for?
Days are where we live.
They come, they wake us
Time and time over.
They are to be happy in:
Where can we live but days?
Ah, solving that question
Brings the priest and the doctor
In their long coats
Running over the fields.
Pessimism is for Lightweights
By Salena Godden
Think of those that marched this road before
And those that will march here in years to come
The road in shadow and the road in the sun
The road before us and the road all done
History is watching us and what will we become
This road is all flags and milestones
Immigrant blood and sweat and tears
Build this city, built this country
Made this road last all these years
This road is made of protest
And those not permitted to vote
And those that are still fighting to speak
With a boot stamping on their throat
There is power and strength in optimism
To have faith and to stay true to you
Because if you can look in the mirror
And have belief and promise you
Will share wonder in living things
Beauty, dreams, books and art
Love your neighbour and be kind
And have an open heart
Then you're already winning at living
You speak up, you show up and stand tall
It's silence that is complicit
It's apathy that hurts us all
Pessimism is for lightweights
There is no straight white line
It's the bumps and curves and obstacles
That make this time yours and mine
Pessimism is for lightweights
This road was never easy and straight
And living is all about living alive and lively
And love will conquer hate.
United States


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