Video Poems

Click on any title below to watch a video performance:

* Macduff (Macbeth)
* Osric (Hamlet)
* Citizen (Julius Caesar)
* Clown (Antony & Cleopatra)
* Peter Quince (MND)
Bianca (Taming of the Shrew)
King of France (All's Well)
* 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

Christopher Whitby biography

Following the publication of In Small Measure (May 2011 – see Open Poetry at, 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.

Osric's Tale

He called me a waterfly. I heard him
plain as I'm standing here. Said it to his friend —
good looking boy, and cultured in a way
you don't often find round here — but not for me,
not... not with... you know. Oh, call it a whim
if you like — the hat — but for him to send
me up like that! I was in the king's pay,
a right royal messenger. So was he
really mad, you ask. I think not. Sharp, sly,
cruel, bitter, twisted even, but he knew
what he was doing, oh yes, so why should I
be sorry that he's dead? I'll tell you why.
Now we must learn Norwegian ways, who's who,
what's in, what's out, what words can make you die.