"This is better than crying"

Alyson hallett.jpg

How The World Gets Bigger

by Alyson Hallett


How The World Gets Bigger

This morning there's a note pinned to your door
explaining why you've had to rush out 
and cancel our meeting. I turn back into
the rain, watch it falling on tarmac, rivering
in gutters, little bullets exploding. I unbutton 
my jacket, lift my face to the sky. This is better
than crying; nowehere to be and nothing to do.
I walk the christened pavement, cherry tree 
hung like a chandelier, the corner at the end 
of the road suddenly appealing, the way it 
turns without revealing what lies beyond.

by Alyson Hallett

From The Stone Library (Peterloo Poets, 2007)


Poem as Friend to Roxy

How The Worls Gets Bigger.jpg
How The World Gets Biggerby Alyson Hallett

In this episode you will hear Roxy Dunn talking about the poem that has been a friend to her - 'How The World Gets Bigger' by Alyson Hallett.

Roxy visited us at Pushkin House in London. We are very grateful to Pushkin House for hosting The Poetry Exchange so warmly. Thank you also to poet, Alyson Hallett for kindly granting permission for us to use this poem.


'How The World Gets Bigger' is no longer in print but Alyson still holds a few copies. If you would like to buy a copy, you can contact her directly:


Roxy is in conversation with The Poetry Exchange team members Fiona Bennett and Michael Schaeffer.


'How The World Gets Bigger' is read by Fiona Bennett


We talk to people about the poem that has been a friend to them.

In exchange we create a gift for them, a bespoke reading of their chosen poem inspired by the conversation. Our award-winning podcast shares these unique and powerful stories of connection with people across the world. 


We set up an intimate environment for these conversations at festivals, in arts, cultural and public spaces across the country. We also hold exchanges ‘long distance’. Our visitors come from all walks of life and we also feature well-known personalities such as Andrew Scott, Maxine Peake, Roy McFarlane and Paterson Joseph.