Poem introduction

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.

Rhapsodies

When I do count the clock that tells the time

The clocks change, and there’s suddenly the shock

of walking home in darkness, seeing lights

inside the windows, thinking Who lives there?

Whose books are those? Whose ornaments? Who chose

that purple orchid flowering on that shelf?

And then remembering or better still

accepting: me, I live there, me with you –

and yes of course my key fits in the lock.

At which another suddenly: the sound

of you already back and practicing.

I recognise it. Brahms; Two Rhapsodies;

the notes that stayed invisible all day

sweep in like birds through newly-blackened air

and land in time to sing before they sleep.

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Recordings

Andrew Motion

Andrew Motion Downloads

1In the Attic

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2Anne Frank Huis

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3The Letter

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4A Blow to the Head

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5The Spoilt Child

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6To Whom It May Concern

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7Goethe in the Park

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8On the Table

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9Fresh Water

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10Serenade

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11The Dog of the Light Brigade

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12Mythology

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13A Glass of Wine

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14The Fox Provides for Himself

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15Closing the Curtains

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16Red Gloves

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17Veteran

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18Twitching

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19Passing On

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20The Mower

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21The Life of Harry Patch

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22The Death of Harry Patch

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23Now Then

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24A Pine Cone

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25The Gardener

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26Holy Island

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27The Discoveries of Geography

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28Audrey

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29Swim

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30The Fish in Australia

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31The Mill

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32Laying the Fire

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33Through the Lych Gate

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Books by Andrew Motion