Poetry aloud: 'The woman the boy became'

13 October 2014

Listen to Kate Tempest reading her moving and inspiring poem The Woman the Boy Became from her collection Hold Your Own. 

‘'Born more brawn than most,
Born warm.
Born close to ghosts.
Born storm.
Born old.
Grew young.
You could tell she wasn’t from
The same place as the rest,
Born strong.
Born wrong.


She grew.

Growing is what anyone would do.
Given the particulars
She knew what she knew
She was ridiculous.
Born too smart and too dumb.
Born to hold the world under her tongue.
Don’t swallow yet.’

Here's Kate reading the poem in full: 


Hold Your Own

Hold Your Own

Kate Tempest's Hold Your Own is available now as an Audiobook here, as well as in Paperback and Ebook formats. 

Hold Your Own, Kate Tempest's first full-length collection for Picador is an ambitious, multi-voiced work based around the mythical figure of Tiresias. This four-part work follows him through his transformations from child, man and woman to blind prophet; through this structure, Tempest holds up a mirror to contemporary life in a direct and provocative way rarely associated with poetry. 

Read extract  

>>Buy the audiobook of Hold Your Own

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