Repository logo

Listening for Stars

Accepted version



Change log


This essay explores how poetry can enable and invite new ways of listening. It examines how how Coleridge, Hadfield and Oswald translate the experience of listening into new forms - how they use different strategies - visual, typographical, and rhythmical - the ways in which stress patterns and rhythmic shifts communicate and suggest – not only to our ears and our mind’s ears, but also somatically, drawing our bodies, our breathing, into new ways of thinking in and experiencing sound. These poems all begin with an act of listening – to the quiet of frost at midnight, to the cry of an owl, or the sounds of evening (heard through mist); but it is a listening that extends beyond the physiologically auditory – to where the imagining ear takes over – to hear the quiet of the moon, the voice of change, the distance of the past, the whisper of the stars.


This article first appeared in The Poetry Review published by The Poetry Society, Autumn 2021, Volume 111, No. 3 © The author & The Poetry Society. Reproduced by consent of The Poetry Society.


Journal Title

The Poetry Review

Conference Name

Journal ISSN


Volume Title


Poetry Society

Publisher DOI