Still Life with a Map of the World Outside the Window

Ruth Padel, Professor of Poetry at King’s College London reads from her poem ‘Still Life with a Map of the World Outside the Window’ from the new anthology Staying Human: New poems for Staying Alive, edited by Neil Astley and published by Bloodaxe Books.

Inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic, Ruth Padel describes this as ‘a poem of despair and hope’. The poem opens a window on to a series of strange, sad, surprising and heartwarming scenes during lockdown. Meditating upon the impact of the pandemic on everyday lives, Padel’s poem is a resonant reflection for our times.


Staying Human is published by Bloodaxe and is available to buy online.


Blog posts on King’s English represent the views of the individual authors and neither those of the English Department, nor of King’s College London.

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