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Tongues in Trees

Poems inspired by the 400th anniversary year of Shakespeare's First Folio

A collection of seven poems inspired by the 400th anniversary year of Shakespeare’s First Folio. Written by seven local writers in three green spaces across Stratford-upon-Avon.

Inspired by the stories and sonnets in Shakespeare’s First Folio, Tongues in Trees explores the transformative power of nature and how green spaces can support our wellbeing. Created during a series of journalling workshops, the poets reflect on friendship, family, nature, and their own “seven ages” inspired by the RSC’s recent production of As You Like It. The group worked in three green spaces in Stratford-upon-Avon: Lifeways Therapy Centre, Shakespeare’s New Place, and the Swan Gardens, making connections between the Forest of Arden in As You Like It and their own personal places of solace. There are six audio recordings and one film for you to enjoy.

Please be aware: some of the poetry on this page contains references to childbirth and references to death. Viewer/Reader discretion is advised.


The everyday miracles of life experienced in ordinary lives, inspired by the Seven Ages of Man speech from Shakespeare’s As You Like It.

ShakespeareBT · Corrin - Through The Landing Window


When I wrote this ode, I was influenced heavily by the idea of 'radical hope': imagining a future after a time during which everything has changed so much that the old way of life is no longer possible.

ShakespeareBT · Dylan - An Ode to These Troubled Times


It is important to tell each other how we feel and in this bitter-sweet goodbye, marked by the father’s death, we see the power of love and openness.

ShakespeareBT · Lucy - The Sun Stood Still


This piece is about depression and recovery. Raising children as a lone parent, receiving private therapy, and now working as a Peer Specialist supporting others.

ShakespeareBT · Mel - Experience


Life in Autumn is about entering the latter stages of life.

ShakespeareBT · Mia - Life In Autumn


A speech written after watching As You Like It at the RSC in June 2023 and comparing the theatre to life in general.

ShakespeareBT · Ryan - As The Curtain Starts to Fall Down


A collaboratively written poem, inspired by Jaques’ speech in As You Like It - The Seven Ages of Man. Each verse is written by a different person and tracks the stages of life and its cyclical nature.

Logo image for the Royal Shakespeare Company with a red background and white text
Logo for the Lifeways organisation

Produced in collaboration between Lifeways Therapy Centre, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Very special thanks to Alice Blundell and Lucy Parrott.

Design by Pickle Illustration.

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