STOP ALL THE CLOCKS: AUDEN IN AN AGE OF ANXIETY, BBC2, 9pm

“STOP all the clocks” has probably become WH Auden’s most famous line of poetry, thanks to John Hannah’s tearful recitation in Four Weddings and a Funeral.

But there’s so much more to him than these sad words. This new documentary takes us behind the poem’s famously schmaltzy rendition to show us Auden’s wider influence, such as his poem September 1, 1939. It took on a particular relevance in America after 9/11 when grieving New Yorkers found comfort in his lines where “the unmentionable odour of death/offends the September night” and which also spoke of “blind skyscrapers” using “their full height to proclaim the strength of Collective Man”.

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The film features contributions from Alan Bennett, Alexander McCall Smith, Richard Curtis and Polly Clark in discussing why Auden’s influence is still so strong in both literary studies and popular culture.

Presenter Adam Low first made a film about Auden 35 years ago. Now he returns to his topic to reassess the great man’s work.

STRONG LANGUAGE LIVE, BBC2, 10pm

CONTINUING the theme, the BBC give us some live verse and bold performance poetry – which nicely contradicts my moan that the channel had let us down with its anaemic version of the arts programme, Front Row. Kate Tempest, the current star of the scene, introduces the acts which are part of the BBC’s first Contains Strong Language Festival. It has been arranged as part of Hull’s celebrations as the 2017 City of Culture.

Tempest will perform some of her own work, which always seems especially strong to me because of her rough South London accent which she doesn’t bother to try to hide.

Well done to her for entering the middle-class world of poetry and retaining her working-class identity. Others might have felt compelled to “talk posh”, but not her. She belts out her strong words in an equally strong voice.

Tempest also introduces other performance poets, such as Kate Fox and Isaiah Hull.