My Itinerary ({: itinerary.length :})

{: event.badge :}

{: event.title :}

{: event.dates :} {: event.dateDescription :}
{: item :}
Suitable for {: item :}
1001 Stories Collection

The Listeners

Added on 11th June 2020

Author Walter de la Mare
First published 1912
Publisher Constable and Company Ltd, London, UK

A poem for children with a mysterious and supernatural theme, first published in the anthology The Listeners.

Story

A traveller arrives at a house at dead of night to find no-one answers his knocking or comes when he calls. Inside a group of ghostly listeners stand in the moonlight on the staircase and listen to his calls but though the traveller can sense that they are there he still gets no reply.

Why we chose it

An atmospheric and memorable poem which is great to read aloud. Children enjoy the mystery and the suspense.

Where it came from

Walter de la Mare (1873-1956) worked in the statistics department of the Anglo-American Oil in London before becoming a full time writer.

The Listeners was published in 1912 in his second collection of poetry, also called The Listeners

Where it went next

The Listeners was included in numerous anthologies and was by far the best known of de la Mare’s poems. Perhaps that’s why he eventually refused to let it be included in anthologies.

De la Mare was much admired by other poets during his lifetime and The Listeners was much taught in schools in the twentieth century.

Associated stories

Walter de la Mare wrote a number of anthologies for children, including Peacock Pie published in 1913. Other well known poems include The Ride-by-Nights, Silver, Summer Evening, Nod, Snow and Mr Nobody.

He also wrote and published collections of short stories, including a number of ghost and horror stories, for children and for adults.

Added on 11th June 2020

Author Walter de la Mare
First published 1912
Publisher Constable and Company Ltd, London, UK