Sounds of the Deep

02nd September 2016 19:00
British Museum
Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG
From singing sirens to the Ancient Mariner, poetry has always been anchored to the sea. Join us in the shadow of the Nereid monument in Room 17 for an evening of poetry, performance and plunder.

Featuring BBC celebrated folk singer Lisa Knapp, classicist and broadcaster Edith Hall and leading actor Simon Callow, voyage with us on a journey exploring poetry and the sea throughout the ages.


Edith Hall is Professor in the Classics Department and Centre for Hellenic Studies at King’s College London. Her titles include The Return of Ulysses on the cultural history of Homer’s Iliad, and the forthcoming Women Classical Scholars.

Lisa Knapp is a singer and folk musician, whose remarkable debut album, Wild And Undaunted, merges traditional folk with contemporary production. Her song about the shipping forecast song won plaudits from BBC Radios 2, 4 and 6.

Simon Callow CBE is a celebrated actor, writer musician and director. Known for his star turns in Amadeus and Four Weddings and a Funeral, is also the author of a three volume biography of Orson Wells, and a forthcoming title on Wagner.

This event has now been archived.

The music performed,  at this event, in order, was:

  • Invocation

  • The Mermaid

  • The Norrowa Maid

  • Shipping Song

The poetry read, in order was:

  • Beowulf: translated by Heaney; lines 529 to 581

  • Psalm 107 King James

  • Ariel’s Song from Shakespeare’s The Tempest

  • Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold

  • Sailor by Eleanor Farjeon

  • The Secret of the Sea by Longfellow

  • Sea Poem by Alice Oswald

  • The World Below the Brine by Walt Whitman

  • The Sands of Dee by Charles Kingsley

  • The Sea is History’ by Derek Walcott

  • ‘Odyssey’ Sonnet by Andrew Lang

  • Sea Fever by John Masefield

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