The Cathedral was the setting for the premiere of a new poem by the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy

The reading of A Human Haunt – a poem about the Cathedral itself - formed part of an evening of poetry and music during which Carol Ann Duffy read from her collected works, with the Cathedral’s Merbecke Choir providing musical interludes. 


St Mary Overie, St Saviour, Southwark,
over the river, a human haunt in stone,
thousand years here, the sweet Thames well recalls.
Who came? Nuns, brothers, in good faith, saints,
poets- John Gower, whose blind head, look, rests
on the pillow of his books; Chaucer, imagining
the pilgrims’ first steps on the endless written road
we follow now, good readers; Shakespeare,
with twenty cold shillings for a funeral bell-
players, publicans, paupers, politicians, princes,
all to this same, persistent, changing space,
between fire and water, theatre and marketplace;
us, lighting our candles in the calm cathedral,
future ghosts, eating our picnic on a bench.


Carol Ann Duffy, 2012