BBC Radio 4’s Poetry Please is the longest-running broadcast of verse anywhere in the world. First aired in 1979, the programme, a request show which broadcasts to two million listeners a week, has become a unique record of the country’s best-loved poems over the decades since its inception. The BBC has looked back through its rich archive of recordings to produce a poll of the most asked for and most broadcast pieces ever: it is those poems that this anthology brings together here. A showcase, in effect, for the nation’s favourite verse, Poetry Please is a treasure trove for our most requested and most listened to poems of all time. It is a compelling invitation for readers of all ages and backgrounds to celebrate the verse that we care so much about: from new readers to old, from schools to reading groups, this a book for giving, a book for cherishing.