Programme 11 – Christmas Poems

Christina Rossetti
Christina Rossetti
Norman Nicholson
Norman Nicholson

In our eleventh programme Lance reads six favourite poems about Christmas and the festive season. The poems are Rudyard Kipling’s ‘Eddi’s Service’, Michael Hewlett’s ‘When God Almighty Came To Be One Of Us’, John Betjeman’s ‘Christmas’, Veronica Zundel’s ‘Incarnation’, Christina Rossetti’s ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’ and Norman Nicholson’s ‘Carol for the Last Christmas Eve.’ 


Thanks to Aitken Alexander Associates who represent the Estate of John Betjeman. 

‘Incarnation’ is recorded by kind permission of the writer, Veronica Zundel. She writes non-fiction for the Christian market and has recently graduated, with distinction, from the Poetry School/Newcastle University MA in Writing Poetry, with poems published in various anthologies.

Thanks to the Trustees of the Estate of Norman Nicholson for permission to record his ‘Carol for the Last Christmas Eve’ from his COLLECTED POEMS, published by Faber & Faber.

Michael Hewlett’s ‘When God Almighty came to be one of us’ is Copyright Control. It was published in New Life by Stainer & Bell, 1969.

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Programme 10 – Rudyard Kipling

In our tenth programme Lance responds to a listener request for a poem by Rudyard Kipling. Lance reads five of Kiplings poems including ‘The Camel’s Hump’, ‘The Way Through the Woods’, ‘Tommy’, ‘The Secret of the Machines’ and ‘When Earth’s Last Picture is Painted.’

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Programme 9 – Poetry for Children (including The Owl and the Pussy Cat)

In our ninth programme we enjoy some poems written for children. Lance picks out five of his favourites: ‘The Owl and the Pussy Cat’ by Edward Lear, ‘Jabberwocky’ by Lewis Carroll, ‘The King’s Breakfast’ by A A Milne, ‘The Listeners’ by Walter de la Mare and ‘After Ever Happily’ by Ian Serraillier.


Find more of Heidi Swedberg’s ukulele playing on Youtube or at her website.

‘The King’s Breakfast’ by A A Milne. (c) Text by A.A. Milne

‘The Listeners’ by Walter de la Mare. With thanks to the Literary Trustees of Walter de la Mare and The Society of Authors as their Representative.

‘After Ever Happily’ by Ian Serraillier. (c) Estate of Ian Serraillier

Buy Lance’s poetry CDs at his website

The picture of the Owl and the Pussycat is by Bob Bond. See more of his work here

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Programme 8 – William Wordsworth: Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802

The Rhinebeck Panorama
The Rhinebeck Panorama

In our eighth programme we look at Wordsworth’s famous poem ‘Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802.’ That poem is the climax of Lance’s Guided Poetry Walk along the Banks of the Thames. One of the things Lance shows visitors is a series of paving stones with poem extracts that are on the walkway near the Festival Hall. So on this program Lance reads all four paving stone poems before finishing with Wordsworth’s famous words – just as he does on the walk!

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A Thames Barge

Programme 7 – The Metaphysical Poets

John Donne
John Donne

In our seventh programme we look at three of the so-called Metaphysical Poets. ‘The Baite’ by John Donne, ‘To His Coy Mistress’ by Andrew Marvell, ‘The Pulley’ by George Herbert and ‘Holy Sonnet X’ by John Donne.

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The Baite by John Donne















‘To His Coy Mistress’ by Andrew Marvell












‘The Pulley’ by George Herbert











Holy Sonnet X (Death be not proud) by John Donne

Programme 6 – The Charge of the Light Brigade; and other Laureate Poems

Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-92)
Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-92)

In our sixth programme we read our first listener-nominated poem – ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’ by Alfred Lord Tennyson. Since he wrote it while he was Poet Laureate Lance also reads two other poems by famous holders of that office. ’14th November 1973′ by John Betjeman – on the occasion of Princess Anne’s wedding to Mark Phillips. And Carol Ann Duffy’s ‘Last Post’ – written to commemorate the deaths of two veterans of the First World War.

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‘Last Post’ from 1914: Poetry Remembers by Carol Ann Duffy. Publilshed by Faber & Faber, 2015. Copyright (c) Carol Ann Duffy. Recorded by permission of the author c/o Rogers, Coleridge & White Ltd, 20 Powis Mews, London W11 1JN




Programme 5 – George Herbert: Love (III)

In our third programme focusing on Lance’s favourite poems we come to his number one choice. George Herbert’s ‘Love (III).’

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You can find Lance’s poetry CDs here

The music at the end of the podcast can be found here. Love Bade Me Welcome (Five Mystical Songs) by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Jamie W. Hall – Bass baritone. Richard McVeigh – Piano.

Programme 4 – Gerard Manley Hopkins: Epithalamion

In our second of three programmes we hear another of Lance’s favourite poems. Gerard Manley Hopkins’ ‘Epithalamion.’

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Frank Skinner’s Poetry Podcast episode on Hopkins’ poem ‘The Windhover’ can be found here

Find out more about The Hopkins Society here

You can find Lance’s Hopkins CDs here or listen to his Hopkins podcast here
























Programme 3 – John Betjeman: Before the Anaesthetic or A Real Fright

Sir John Betjeman
Sir John Betjeman

In our next three programmes we hear three of Lance’s favourite poems. We begin today with a deeply personal poem by John Betjeman: Before the Anaesthetic or A Real Fright

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You can find most of Betjeman’s poems in John Betjeman, Collected Poems, published by John Murray.  There is a fuller list of books at

You can hear 72 of his most famous poems on: ‘John Betjeman: A First Class Collection’, BBC Audio and the best of the rest on ‘The John Betjeman You Never Knew‘ by Lance Pierson

Find out more about The Betjeman Society here

AN Wilson’s list of 31 Betjeman poems that he considered to be among the best written poems (in English) in the 20th century

Aldershot Crematorium

The Arrest of Oscar Wilde at the Cadogan Hotel

Business Girls

By the Ninth Green, St Enodoc


The Cockney Amorist

The Costa Blanca


Death in Leamington

Death of King George V

Devonshire Street, W.1




In a Bath Teashop

In Willesden Churchyard

Invasion Exercise on the Poultry Farm

Ireland with Emily

Late-Flowering Lust

Lenten Thoughts of a High Anglican

The Licorice Fields at Pontefract



Myfanwy  at Oxford

Oxford: Sudden Illness at the Bus-stop

Parliament Hill Fields

Pershore Station

St Saviour’s, Aberdeen Park, Highbury, London N

A Subaltern’s Love Song

Sun and Fun

Youth and Age on Beaulieu River, Hants