To mark this occasion, we thought we would revisit the two poems whose bicentenaries inspired this year's Prize theme: 'Songbird'. John Keats’ ‘Ode to a Nightingale’, which was first published in book form in June 1820, the same month that Percy Bysshe Shelley composed ‘To a Skylark’ in Italy.
At 1pm GMT, Thursday 23 April, we will sit down and read both poems in our home. We invite you to join us - wherever and whenever in the world you are - for a few minutes of quiet, contemplative poetry reading - together and alone.
The idea was inspired by Keats himself, who in December 1818 wrote from London to his brother George and Georgiana Keats in Kentucky: ‘I shall read a passage of Shakespeare every Sunday at ten oClock – you read one at the same time and we shall be as near each other as blind bodies can be in the same room.’
To read 'Ode to a Nightingale' click here
To read 'To a Skylark' click here.