Poetry In Your Palm | The Poetry App

Jack Andrew Lenton

If you’re looking for a spark of inspiration when reading or listening to poetry, this free educational app from the Josephine Hart Poetry Foundation is a must-have, offering a treasure trove of verse from some of the world’s most celebrated poets tucked within a well-imagined and entertaining design.

Courtesy Jack Andrew Lenton

There’s a lot to explore, with over 100 poems from 16 sensational poets (Rudyard Kipling, John Keats, Sylvia Plath, Marianne Moore), and a tidy biography on each of them. The real magic is found in the readings of these poems by over 30 award-winning performers, playwrights, and actors.
Hart suggested that ‘poetry comes alive when read aloud’ and this is perfectly presented in Harold Pinter’s conversational cadence and timbre when channeling the ghost of Philip Larkin in his rendition of ‘Poetry in Departures’. Frieda Hughes’ reading of her mother’s work (Sylvia Plath’s ‘Edge’) is profoundly magnetic; her soft tonality playfully contrasting the grisly subject matter. In one of the more classical poems, the reading places Jeremy Irons upon the throne of a tormented Satan (the broody biblical anti-hero from Paradise Lost). His resonant thespian voice is faultless in his rebellious call-to-arms against heaven.
The interface of the app is lighthearted, opening on a cozy Victorian study complete with crackling fire and a blinking memento-mori skull; you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d opened a Sherlock Holmes murder mystery game. Instead, the tappable pictures on the wall are portals to a celestial library of the poets, poetry, and their performers.
Some of the navigational aspects of the app are difficult to use and finding the poem you’re after can be a bit of a hunt, but with the search bar you can quickly skip the user interface and find what you’re looking for. There’s a lot of joy in the hidden ‘Easter Egg’ elements of the app; try clicking on the trophy boar’s head for a video of Bob Geldof performing John Keats’ ‘I Cry Your Mercy’.
In life, Josephine Hart was a well-respected Irish novelist and lover of all things literary. With her death from cancer in 2011, The Josephine Hart Poetry Foundation was founded to continue her work in bringing spoken poetry to a larger audience, and this app certainly goes a long way to achieving her aspirations.
The Poetry App

By The Josephine Hart Foundation

Books | Reference

Platform: iOS (iPad and iPhone) | Android

Price: Free

Where: iTunes | Google Play

Jack Andrew Lenton

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,656 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article