Help

Here are some questions you may want to ask us. If your question isn't here, please contact us and we will do our best to respond.
I can't hear the Archive's recordings. What should I do?
To hear the recordings in the Archive, you need software called Flash (version 10) and you need to enable javascript in your browser settings. You can download Flash, free of charge, here. Back to top

On my screen, the site doesn't seem to look the way it's intended to. What can I do about that?
The site has been built to cater for the most popular combinations of browsers and operating systems. To keep costs down, it has been not possible to cater for all combinations. At present, the following browsers are guaranteed to support the site:

PC: Windows 2000 and later
Internet Explorer 5.5 and above
Firefox 1.0

MAC OSX
Safari 1.2 and above

If you have problems viewing the site using one of these combinations of browsers and operating systems, please contact us describing the problem, and tell us which browser and operating-system versions you are using. Back to top

Can I adjust the size of the text?
When viewing the site with most popular browsers, the size of the text can be adjusted. In Internet Explorer and Mozilla, text size is altered by choosing 'Text Size' under the "View" menu. Back to top

How do you choose the poets who are included in the Archive?
Poets are chosen by a Selection Panel, chaired by Andrew Motion. All published poets who write in English are eligible to be invited to make a recording for the Archive. If you would like to suggest a poet to be added to the Archive, please use our Missing Voices pages. All enquires are read but we cannot promise to send individual replies. Back to top

How much does each poet record for the Archive and who chooses the poems each poet records?
Poets themselves choose the work they record for the Archive. Each poet is invited to record a reading lasting about an hour. Between seven and ten minutes of each recording can be heard here, free of charge. You can buy each poet?s full-length recording in the Poetry Bookshop Online. Back to top

Will you add more recordings to the Archive?
Yes, there are many more poets we want to record and the Poetry Archive will continue to grow in the future. Also, every few years we plan to go back to the poets we have already recorded and invite them to record their recent work for the Archive. Back to top

Can I suggest poets I'd like the Archive to record?
We are keen to hear your suggestions about who else we might record. Please go to Missing voices to find out how you can help us ensure the Archive is as comprehensive as possible. Back to top

Can I send my poetry to the Archive?
Unfortunately, we cannot offer an advisory service for your poetry. However, there are other places where you can get advice ? for more information, see our Links. Back to top

Who runs the Poetry Archive?
The Archive's two Directors are the U.K. Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion, and the recording producer, Richard Carrington. To read more about the project see About Us. Back to top

How is The Poetry Archive funded?
The Poetry Archive is a not-for-profit organisation with charitable status. We rely on the support and generosity of public bodies, charitable trusts and private individuals. Please visit our Benefactors page to see who our supporters are and the Support the Poetry Archive page if you would like to help the Archive continue its work. The Archive is partly funded by CD sales, so every purchase of a recording helps us afford to make more recordings. Back to top

Can I make my own copies of recordings and texts of poems from the Archive?
The Poetry Archive operates under a strict copyright agreement, which does not allow any reproduction of the audio or text featured on the site. For a comprehensive guide to this issue, please see our Terms and Conditions. Back to top

I'm looking for a poem to mark a special occasion. Can you help me?
Many people turn to poetry at important moments in their lives. A poem can be a solace in times of grief and can help you celebrate happy events. See the themes page to search for poems by theme, such as birth, love, marriage and death. Back to top

I'm trying to find a poem I heard years ago, but I can't remember the title or the poet's name. Can you help?
We can't guarantee that the poem you're looking for is in the Archive but it might be – so try our themed search. Go to the themes page and look for a theme that fits the poem you're trying to remember. Back to top

We'd like to invite a poet into our school. How should we go about it?
Many of the poets in the Archive make visits to schools to work with pupils and teachers. For more information, read our Invite a Poet page. Back to top

I'm having problems logging in to My Archive. Am I doing anything wrong?
If you've already registered with us, you need to use the same email address and password you originally used. If you're still having problems, request your password using the 'Forgotten Password' link and try logging in again. Back to top

How do I create a new list in My Archive?
Creating a list is easy to do. Wherever you see a poem or a poet, you'll see an 'Add to My Archive' button. Click this and follow the steps to create a new list in My Archive. Back to top

I've created a My Archive list. How do I share it?
Click on the My Archive link to be taken to your My Archive page. Once there, you'll see a button that enables you to share your list. Clicking this will give you a website address that you can then copy and paste into an email. Back to top

I'd like to make some changes to My Archive lists. How do I edit them?
Login to your My Archive page so you can view your lists. Next to each list is an Edit button. Click on this and you'll be able to delete any poets or poems from your lists or add to the notes you've already written. Back to top

I’d like to increase the text size to make it easier to read. How can I do that?
You can change the size of the font by using standard browser settings. Different browsers may require slightly different steps. For Internet Explorer, choose View from the top navigation bar and then Text Size/Larger or Largest. For Firefox and Netscape, the steps are View/Text Size/Increase. For Opera: View/Zoom/and then select the increased percentage value. For Safari: View/Make Text Bigger. Back to top

I’d like my My Archive list to include a link to a page outside the Poetry Archive website. Is that possible?
You can use the ‘Add external link’ function to add this type of link. To do that, go to your list within My Archive and scroll to the bottom of it. Below the items you have already added, you will see ‘Add external link’: click that link and fill in the information you’re asked for in the pop up - the name you’d like the link to have in your list, your description of the link and the URL of the link itself (please make sure to add the link in full - e.g. http://www.poetryarchive.org/). The link you’ve added will appear at the bottom of your list as the last item added.

If you’d prefer to include a link to an external site within any of the notes you're making about an item on your list, that’s also easy to do. When you're editing your list, go to the appropriate section of it and type in the title you’d like to give to an external link; highlight that title and then click the ‘Edit/insert link’ icon in the edit bar. Then paste the link's URL into the appropriate field in the pop-up (again, remembering to include the link in full - e.g. http://www.poetryarchive.org/). You can also choose whether you’d like the link open in a new browser window or in the same window you’re already using. Back to top

I can’t see ‘Add to My Archive’ buttons within the Children’s Archive site. Can I add those pages to My Archive?
We are working on extending My Archive to the Children’s Archive. In the meantime, you can still add Children’s Archive pages to your list by using the ‘Add external link’ function. See question 20 for instructions on how to do that. Back to top

Search for a poem or a poet:

My Archive

Create lists of your favourite poems and poets and share them with friends.

Browse all poets by name

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Browse all poems by title

View all poems

Glossary of poetic terms

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Support The Poetry Archive The Poetry Archive depends on donations from public bodies and private individuals. Find out how you can contribute to the work of the Archive.