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.

Hearing Voices

‘Yes, you were, you were’, I laughed, ‘golden children!’

Through all those years of hubris, me taking pride,

As though it were my doing, in that golden,

Blameless childhood, you with no cause to hide

Anything more than boyhood’s guilty pleasures.

But how you hid when the sky split, the voices came,

Each with a face you drew, wild familiars,

Grotesques that only talking to could tame.

Then on their heels crept silences: your childhood,

Mother, father, sister, all held at bay,

All suspect. Illness might be in the blood,

Even how we laugh in our DNA.

  Yet how we laughed, there in the sun that spread

  Through leaves and seemed to gild what my son said!

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Recordings

Mimi Khalvati

Mimi Khalvati Downloads

1Shanklin Chine

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2Rubaiyat

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3Vine-Leaves

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4Earls Court

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5Coma

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6Entries on Light (1-6)

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7The Chine

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8Nostalgia

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9Writing Letters

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12Villanelle

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13The Piano

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14Babies

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15Life in Art

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16Snails

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17The Love Barn

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18Just to Say

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19Song

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20Don't Ask Me, Love, For That First Love

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21Come Close

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22Blinks

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23Overblown Roses

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24On Lines from Fahmida Riaz and Foroogh Farrokhzad

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25Signal

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26Ghazal

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27Ghazal: Hold Me

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28Ghazal: The Servant

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29Ghazal: My Son

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30Ghazal: The Children

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31Blessing

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10Eden

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11Writing Home

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Books by Mimi Khalvati