Video Poems

Click on any title below to watch a video performance:

* Macduff
* Osric
* Citizen (Julius Caesar)
* Clown (Antony & Cleopatra)
* After the Play (Peter Quince)
* A Refusal to Mourn the Death
of a Child
* Through a Glass Darkly


3 Copyright Free Christmas Sonnets

Through a Glass Darkly:
this triptych of Nativity sonnets can be performed, broadcast or printed by anyone without breach of copyright. The text of these 3 sonnets can be found here. All other poems on this site and in In Small Measure remain the copyright of Christopher Whitby. Permission to print, perform, broadcast or otherwise use any of them can be obtained by emailing info@openpoetry.org.uk.

Christopher Whitby biography

Following the publication of In Small Measure (May 2011 – see Open Poetry at www.openpoetry.org.uk), this site has changed. Rather than a broad selection of sonnets and other poems, one of 8 poems will be randomly selected for display each time this page is loaded. Over time, the stock of 8 poems used in this selection will also be changed.

Much of my poetry is intended for oral delivery and acting, as well as for reading and some video performances are available by clicking on the links in the right-hand column.


Night Exercise

The night the soldiers came for him they had
their guns of course, but one bright soul had thought
to bring a spade, for if their man became
a frigging pain, they might perhaps be glad
of it when all the fun was gone. They caught
him in his bed, quite unaware his name
had been passed on by someone he'd once met.

There was, tonight, no time to rape his wife,
so where the wood curls round the valley's head
the questioning was rifle-butt hard. 'Now
dig,' they said at last, but with no hope of life,
he would not help them. So they shot him dead,
and dug, and covered him, and trod him down,
and hated him, because he'd made them sweat.