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Featured Poem: The Voice by Thomas Hardy

Written by The Reader, 22nd January 2018

This week's featured poem, The Voice by Thomas Hardy, has got thinking about reading aloud in Shared Reading groups, the importance of hearing the written word out loud in different voices.

Reading aloud is an important part of our Shared Reading groups. There is power in seeing the words on a page, but to hear them aloud in the room can have a greater, often unexpected, impact. Hearing those words in different voices can also help to untangle them, particularly in poetry - the individual brogues, lilts and stresses can cast different shades on the same words.

In Shared Reading groups, we read the voices of different authors, poets and characters, but we also bring them to life through different voices within the group - the Reader Leader, individual group members - who each bring something new, something personal to the reading.

"Reading aloud is an activity that everyone can take part in. It sharpens the intellect, invigorates the imagination and enlarges the scope of human sympathy. If we all read aloud every day, the world would be a better place."

Philip Pullman


The Voice

Woman much missed, how you call to me, call to me,
Saying that now you are not as you were
When you had changed from the one who was all to me,
But as at first, when our day was fair.

Can it be you that I hear? Let me view you, then,
Standing as when I drew near to the town
Where you would wait for me: yes, as I knew you then,
Even to the original air-blue gown!

Or is it only the breeze, in its listlessness
Travelling across the wet mead to me here,
You being ever consigned to existlessness,
Heard no more again far or near?

Thus I; faltering forward,
Leaves around me falling,
Wind oozing thin through the thorn from norward
And the woman calling.

Thomas Hardy

A Little, Aloud

Find the perfect stories, extracts and poems to read aloud with loved ones in our A Little, Aloud series of anthologies, available for purchase on our website.

All proceeds support our Shared Reading groups across the UK.


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