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This new website posts videos of older Londoners in isolation reading poems


Need a bit of cheering up? Sorry, stupid question, you’ve been sat with your nose pressed against the window for almost two weeks. OF COURSE YOU DO. Allow us to direct you to PoetryGeneration, a simple, wholesome website that features one poem a day, read by an older person who is currently in self-isolation as a result of coronavirus. 

Lockdown is a lonely time for everyone, but especially for the elderly community, who are at the greatest risk. The site was set up by Ellie Levenson, who told Time Out, ‘I got the idea for PoetryGeneration when my four-year-old son asked for a video of his grandma reading his favourite poem, “The Triantiwontigongolope” by CJ Dennis, that she usually reads him snuggled up on their sofa but can’t due to coronavirus self-isolation. I thought posting a video of a different older person reading a poem each day would be a way to help keep all ages visible in a positive way, and build up a free library of poetry videos for all ages to enjoy.’ 

Tomorrow’s reading will be from famous British poet Ruth Padel. Until then, you can listen to the soothing voice of Angela from London as she rolls through the jumbling rhymes of AA Milne’s ‘Sneezles’:  

‘They expounded the reazles 

For sneezles

And wheezles,

The manner of measles

When new.

They said “If he freezles

In draughts and in breezles,


May even ensue.’

If you’re in need of another reading after today’s PoetryGeneration video, we highly recommend visiting Sam Neil’s Twitter, where the old romantic has been sharing love poems. He’s also been sharing videos of himself playing the ukulele, but we can forgive that, because the man’s an adorable wine-loving pig farmer who starred in ‘Jurassic Park’. 

Find out what you can do to help your community through the coronavirus outbreak here

Got some time? Have a read of our interview with the one and only David Attenborough

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