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Charles takes to the airwaves with favourite poem for National Poetry Day

The prince read Quoting Shakespeare by Bernard Levin for the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show.

The Prince of Wales has read a poem on the radio for National Poetry Day (Jane Barlow/PA)
The Prince of Wales has read a poem on the radio for National Poetry Day (Jane Barlow/PA)

By Laura Elston, PA Court Reporter

The Prince of Wales has read one of his favourite poems on the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show to celebrate National Poetry Day.

Charles chose Quoting Shakespeare by Bernard Levin, which explores the everyday use of the Bard’s phrases.

Presenter Nicki Chapman, standing in for Zoe Ball who is off with flu, said the prince invited Radio 2 in for “a cup of tea and a slice of banana bread” at his private home, Birkhall, on the Balmoral estate in Scotland.

Introducing the poem, Charles said in the pre-recorded piece broadcast on Thursday: “I would like to read what I’ve always thought was something rather special.”

He added: “The great thing about it, I think, is it reminds us all just how many words and phrases we use in the English language and in general conversation which actually were originally written by Shakespeare.

“So, it’s something that sometimes reminds one just of how remarkable Shakespeare was.”

The poem begins: “If you cannot understand my argument, and declare ‘It’s Greek to me’, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you claim to be more sinned against than sinning, you are quoting Shakespeare.”

Charles’s other favourite poems include Seamus Heaney’s The Shipping Forecast, which he read on National Poetry Day for Radio 4 in 2016.

He is also a fan of Robert Burns’s My Luve Is Like A Red Red Rose and Dylan Thomas’s Fern Hill.

PA

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