Directly beneath this text, you will find a list of the individual poems available in this collection, set out in alphabetical order of language. The poems themselves are available down the right. They have been saved in pdf and you just need to click on those to view and download them.

The collection consists of over 100 bi-lingual poems, completed between 2003 and 2013. Fifty languages are represented. An English version is provided in each case, opposite and alongside, as if in conversation.

The collection began with a project part-funded by the Foreign Office, to celebrate the 2004 Enlargement of the European Union. Ten poems were selected, one from each of the Enlargement countries of that year. Between 2004 and 2011, with funding from various sources, the number of languages represented in the collection grew from ten to almost fifty.

Early in 2013, Burmese was added. There are six Burmese poems in all, celebrating in their different ways that nation’s emergence from army-imposed silence.

Besides the language additions of these years, some further frontiers of difference were introduced, for poetry to seek to cross and open. Thus, there are pairs of poems by people with mental health problems, someone with a physical disability, someone dying, people just moving into their teenage years. And there is another pair of poems about someone with Down’s Syndrome. The first and last of these pairs later became full collections. Thus, “Poems for…self at sea” and “Poems for…bridges to learning disability” were launched in Bristol in 2015 and are available as separate items on this website.

Also included in “Poems for…one world” is a poem called “These are the Hands” by Michael Rosen, celebrating the UK National Health Service. This poem was commissioned to celebrate the 60th birthday of the NHS in 2008. Michael was UK Children’s Poet Laureate at the time. With his permission, the poem has been translated into various other languages, each one spoken by people who come to the NHS for help, and/or who work for it. At this stage, the translations are scattered through the list below, in alphabetical order according to language.

Click on the examples and they will expand onscreen.

To download the whole pack click here (.zip 16.8MB)

Here is the full list of poems set out in alphabetical order of language

Title Poet Language Download
Ladybird Ingrid Jonker Afrikaans
The dog Dedaj Albanian
from Exile Nasser Arabic
Sparrows Youssef Arabic
from If I must worship a god Monzer Masri Arabic (Syrian)
Prison Barghouti Arabic-Palestinian
On a Steamer Valzhyna Mort Belarusian
David Widgery Naz Bengali
Too long I’ve wandered Tagore Bengali
Stalagtites Lyubomir Nikolov Bulgarian
from Fruit Diet Radulova Bulgarian
A Letter for Lovers and Haters Ma Ei Burmese
Clue Maung Thein Zaw Burmese
Hill-space Ko Zaw Oo Burmese
Myitkyina Jail, 2010 Zargana Burmese
Panning for alluvial gold Ko Ko Thett Burmese
Pitch for a Playful Mind Eaindra Burmese
Maybe I am blind Gu Cheng Chinese (Mandarin)
Question in the mountains Li Bai Chinese (Mandarin)
In the mountains Yang lian Chinese (Mandarin)
Fate Blatny Czech
Meeting in a lift Holan Czech
Lacrima Pia Tafdrup Danish
The mother the water Kopland Dutch
These are the hands Michael Rosen English download
Who am I ? Amrit Dhadwal English/Punjabi download
Who do you think you are ? Farzana Choudhury English download
Kim and the Sea-gulls Rogan Wolf English download
Kim and the nasty woman Rogan Wolf English download
Dying Phil Poole English download
Death’s Compliment Phil Poole English download
Ophelia in London Janey Antoniou English download
Hotel Gordon Sarah Wardle English download
Tower Bridge David Morris English download
Vinopolis David Morris English
from My mother, her tongue Stephen Watts English
from Song for my daughter Stephen Watts English
Waiting Rose Bromberg English (Spanish tr.)
A last cloud Jaan Kaplinski Estonian
Though your country Juhan Liiv Estonian
Libation Grace Tamakloe Ewe
The sea within us… Jean-Michel Maulpoix French
from Exile Soleïman Adel Guémar French (Algerian)
I write so I can travel Claudine Bertrand French (Canadian)
In her dreams… Vénus Khoury-Ghata French (Lebanese)
Lightness Bateman Gaelic
Making butter MacNeacail Gaelic
How was it ? Michael Krüger German
What the slowcoach says Michael Krüger German
The Panther Rainer Maria Rilke German
Plea Stella Rotenberg German (Austrian)
Morning Ritsos Greek
These are the hands Spyridoula Politi (transl) Greek
Roses Marangou Greek Cypriot
I have recalled… Ra’hel Bluwstein Hebrew
They call me Yehuda Amichai Hebrew
Constantly Milan Hindi
Home Rana Hindi
Loneliness Saxena Hindi
Black Tears Vidya Misra Hindi
Daily I change Gomori Hungarian
On the back of a photograph Pilinszky Hungarian
Only you should read my poems Yozsef Hungarian
from I dance Ala-Igbo Chikwendu Anyanwu Igbo
Alda Merini Alda Merini Italian
September 2001… Antonella Anedda Italian
Behind the angelic evening Dino Campana Italian
from Dishevelled Hair 1 Akiko Yosano Japanese
from Dishevelled Hair 2 Akiko Yosano Japanese
A Report Kenji Miyazawa Japanese
Acceptance Hardi Kurdish
And men go forth Saint Augustine Latin
The black time Belsevica Latvian
Wolf One-eye… Juris Kronbergs Latvian
from The history of the train Alisanka Lithuanian
Island Agenda Azzopardi Maltese
from Nudity 10… Ebrahimi Persian
Kindness embodied Khoi Persian
Yet another day Vajdi Persian
The Encounter Czeslaw Milosz Polish
Station lights Sommer Polish
The peacock in Walpole Park Chandan Punjabi
After listening to Beethoven’s fifth Tirmazi Punjabi
These are the hands Amarjit Chandan (transl) Punjabi (Arabo-Urdu)
These are the hands Amarjit Chandan (transl) Punjabi (Gurmaki)
A stop Ursu Romanian
Shudder of a daisy Gennady Aygi Russian
There were eyes Osip Mandelstam Russian
On the great blue deep Robert Alan Jamieson Shetlandic
Tomorrow can be too late Peteraj Slovakian
How the hills Salamun Slovenian
Cuvivi Carla Badillo Coronado Spanish (Ecuador)
The Balcony Frederico García Lorca Spanish
from Exile Pablo Neruda Spanish (Chile)
Counterparts Octavio Paz Spanish (Mexican)
Green Shoes Antonieta Villamil Spanish (Colombia)
Samadoon Cabdulqaadir Axmed Somali
Has Love… Maxamed Warsame Somali
These are the hands Abdullahi Botan Hassan (transl) Somali
Four Full Moons… Devadacchan Tamil
Swing Malathy Maitri Tamil
Our Path Reesom Haile Tigrinya
Living is an Art Mevlut Ceylan Turkish
These are the hands Mevlut Ceylan Turkish
24-Sep-45 Nazim Hikmet Turkish
Monsoon Moments Nasir Kazmi Urdu
On the Road Ho Chi Minh Vietnamese
A Seed Kate Bosse-Griffiths Welsh
I feel the string has broken… Diä!kwain /Xam

What people have said

Antjie Krog,  South African poet and translator, contributed work to the 'Poems world' collection: “They arrived!!!! the posters. and what a treasure, my head is bristling with ideas...thank you so so so much.”
William Radice, writer and academic, translator of Rabindranath Tagore, whose work is reproduced in 'Poems for world' : “Wonderful to see this and I do congratulate you on a really excellent project.  It has huge potential.”
Lakshmi Holström, translator of two Tamil poems in the 'Poems world' collection: “The thrill is in seeing Tamil as part of a spectrum of languages, each making its own wonderful contribution ...[Poems for…the wall] is an impressive and beautiful project, which should continue to grow.”  
Juris Kronbergs, Latvian poet, editor and translator, contributed work to the 'Poems world' collection: “I am happy and proud to take part in your project ! It's a wonderful way of making poetry useful in society, outside the groups of afficionados, libraries and universities !”  
Lyubo Nikolov, Bulgarian poet, contributed poem to the 'Poems world ' collection: Best of luck in your noble task.”  
Susan Hillyard, Buenos Aires, Argentina, teacher trainer : Thank you for your poems and for putting them up so generously on the site. I am training 20 teachers to teach English through Drama in Special Education all over the city of Buenos Aires. We are working in very poor conditions without resources and making all our own materials. I am passing your site on to my teachers and am sure they will find some interesting materials…
Dr. Charles Cantaloupo, Penn State University, USA, translator of Reesom Haile, Tigrinya poet, whose work appears in the 'Poems world' collection : “As the translator, I authorize you, please, to go ahead.  I hope this is enough since your project is great and should not be held up a second more than necessary.”  
Chikwendụ Anyanwụ, Igbo poet and Catholic priest, contributed work to the "Poems world" collection: “Your idea is a very noble one.”
BB, NHS cancer patient, London, 2013 : “I just want to tell you that in 1997 I read and copied one of your poems, "The Stream of  Life" [by Tagore] in the waiting room in Hammersmith Gaeni dept. I had just finished chemo for ovarian cancer. I still find this poem inspiring and think displaying poems is a great idea, especially in health settings. I plan to take them with me on retreat. Thanks.”  
JP, Hospice Visitor : “Dear Mr Wolf, I have recently seen a "Poems for…the wall"  presentation folder within a palliative care setting which provided a great source of comfort for many visitors. May I take this opportunity to thank you and all the contributors. Are these poems available for other health and social care settings?”    
Dr S. E-L, Clinical Psychologist, NHS Traumatic Stress Counselling Service, London :  “…About half our patients come from other countries, generally as refugees fleeing torture and persecution…Coming into contact with poetry in their own language whilst waiting, is a really positive way of helping non-English speakers feel a sense of welcome and inclusion. Many thanks.”    
Hana Amichai,  widow of Yehuda Amichai, Hebrew poet whose work appears in 'Poems world'  : “It is a beautiful and very important project, I am glad that Amichai's poem is included.”    
Michael Rosen, UK Children’s Poet Laureate 2007-2009 - his poem celebrating the NHS is included in the "Poems world" collection: “I think that this is a stimulating, exciting and important project... Many, many thanks … I am excited and delighted that my poem is appearing in several languages [here]. It shows that we can talk to each other just as we try to care for each other... I think the project needs all the help it can find."
The Royal College of Nursing, from their Bulletin, June 15th , 2011 : “The RCN is backing this project which supplies poems free of charge for use in hospitals and health centres up and down the country.”  
Sir Michael Jay, Permanent Under-Secretary of State, the UK Foreign Office, 2002-2006 : “Diversity is an excellent theme, and especially relevant to the challenges we all currently face to build a cohesive society. We would like a set of the poems to use at appropriate FCO events...”
Sir David Nicholson, Chief Executive of the UK National Health Service, 2010-2014 :Your initiative has made a valuable contribution to making NHS waiting rooms a more welcoming and sensitive environment for patients and the series of poems celebrating diversity has been particularly well received.”  
Gareth Evans, teaching in a school in Shanghai: ” seems to be an important thing, at least to me, in an international setting, to know that the poem-posters on my classroom wall are also on walls around the world.”
School Librarian, King Fahad Academy: “Thank you so much – we love them!...I am planning to laminate all the poems, and have a Poem of the Week in a prominent place in both the boy’s and girl’s schools.”
Assistant Head of School, Kent: “Somehow this lovely set of poems came into my hands; I am delighted with them and am displaying them outside my classroom for maximum impact. I also intend to use them in lessons and get younger students to illustrate as appropriate.”
Andrea Lee, Physiotherapy Receptionist, Warminster Community Hospital, Wiltshire: “I have received the ‘Poems world’ collection and I am totally delighted with them...Some of the scripts are beautiful in their own right, even without the translations. One of the most striking aspects is that no matter what language and ethnic background, our hopes, feelings and dreams are the same. Thank you once again.”
Annette Duncan, Programme Area Leader, ESOL 16-18 Courses, Lewisham College: “You kindly sent me a set of the bilingual poems last year...The poems proved very useful classroom materials and we went on to study other poems. The result is a book of poems, written by the students themselves, in 2 languages – their mother tongue and English. They wrote some truly amazing poems and really enjoyed the process as well as the finished product...”
Catherine Maloney, Lewisham College: “Thank you, the poems are wonderful ! We will put them up for staff and students to enjoy and think about...I think your collection will inspire staff and students alike.”
TN, Governor, HM Prison, Grendon and Springhill : “Are you still supplying Poems for...the wall ? We would be interested in a pack, as previous poems have been much appreciated by prisoners, staff and visitors to the prison.”
MIND worker in Camden, London: “I love reading the poems which are displayed in the reception area at work. I like the variety and I like taking a moment to be still and reflective whilst reading the poems. My current favourite has been photocopied so I can read it from my desk ! It’s a really worthwhile venture.”
Deputy Chief Exec, Yarrow Housing: “Since our clients have learning disabilities, for some the written word is not accessible. However, some clients have been very taken with the poems, selecting their favourites and saying how good they are.”
Psychology Dept, Scunthorpe: “One thing that has been extremely interesting is…our clients have begun to post their own poems on the wall. Some are poems that mean something to them and some are written by the clients themselves.”
MV Prescott, Consultant in A & E Medicine, Royal Shrewsbury Hospital NHS Trust: “I am absolutely delighted with the pack and will be commencing a project in the A & E Department at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital to display these on a rotating basis.”
Maureen Woolf, Counsellor, North Warwickshire NHS Trust: “I have used some of the sample of poems you have already sent me for some group work with older people who have depression, anxiety, memory loss or other difficulties. The overall response has been very favourable.”
Eliot Weinberger, US, translator of Octavio Paz, whose work appears in the 'Poems world' collection: “I'm sure that Octavio would have been very moved to know that his poem was appearing in these kinds of public spaces...good luck with this excellent project.”
Mourid Barghouti, Palestinian poet, Cairo, contributed work to 'Poems world' collection: “I am delighted to be part of your creative and beautiful project.”
Tomaž Šalamun, poet, Slovenia, contributed work to the 'Poems world' collection: “I'm very honoured and delighted you have chosen my poem. Very grateful for your marvellous idea.”
Jayne Greathead, poet, contributed work to 'Poems for...waiting' collection: “It’s a lovely feeling to know my poem has been used in this way.”
Caroline Carver, poet, contributed work to the 'Poems for...waiting" collection: “It is good news that the NHS are using the poems so well, and to know they are reaching the right audiences.”
UA Fanthorpe, poet, contributed work to the 'Poems for...waiting' collection:   “I hope that the project continues to go from strength to strength...and to encourage people to read poetry and to feel better at the same time is indeed a worthwhile task – specially perhaps in times like these.”
Selima Hill, poet, contributed work to two of the project's collections.: “...Congratulations to you too ! ( I Like the idea of making waiting rooms “less lonely”) PS. Another place where people wait is stations...”
Tanya Plutzik, widow of Hyam Plutzik, who contributed work to the 'Poems for...all ages' collection: This is a wonderful idea. It will surely be widely read and will bring comfort and support to many. Thank you for including my husband’s poem ; he would have been delighted to be part of the collection.”
Menna Elfyn, poet, contributed work to 'Poems for...waiting' collection: “It is good to know that the poems are appreciated widely...and that in these difficult times poetry still connects people together.”
Fiona Sampson, poet and editor, helped select ten bilingual poems celebrating the EU Enlargement of 2004: "Your idea’s a wonderful one, crystallizing many of the most interesting initiatives in contemporary literature/ promotion practice. But, more than this, it's also a deeply human, very profound return to the meaning of poetry. I'm honoured to have been part of it.”
The Right Hon Tessa Jowell, Minister for Culture, Media and Sport, 2001-2007: “I think this is a wonderful project, giving people something meaningful and personal to consider, in what can be an anxious place.”
David Hart, Poet, commissioned and edited 50 poems for the 'Poems for...Waiting' collection, contributed one of his own: “The pack of poems has come, Rogan, and it's an excellent piece of work again ; there really has been nothing like these packs before. We have the chance here to open people's lives to each other.”