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Short and sweet poems and sonnets or lyrical and lengthy epics, sit back and relax while you enjoy the work of these wonderful wordsmiths.
This is a Poetry Book Society Special Commendation. Sarah Maguire's first collection, Spilt Milk, established her as one of the most original voices in British poetry, and led to her being chosen as one of the New Generation Poets. Three critically acclaimed volumes have since followed - The Invisible Mender, The Florist's at Midnight and The Pomegranates of Kandahar - to form a lucid, lyrical and rich body of work remarkable for its intelligence and artistry.
With 1500 years of poetry and prose included in this anthology, there is a hugely diverse range of thoughts and feelings on display. In the introduction, the editors Suheil Bushrui and James M. Malarkey explain the importance of and provide a really useful summary of Arab literature and history, detail the difficulty of translation and express their hope that readers from all cultures may be receptive to a wider exploration of literature that might be previously unknown to them. The work chosen, crosses the boundaries of religion, sex, history, and culture; a book to dip in and out of, to open your mind to. Some of the editors' choices may be more difficult to connect with, the common bond may feel remote or unobtainable, some encourage consideration and reflection, while others quite simply sing to the soul, it is all a matter of personal choice. Personally, ’Rejoice’ by May Ziadah struck an immediate chord, reading without thought of religion, politics or social injustice, it simply spoke to me of the joy of positivity. Desert Songs of the Night allows a step towards observation and exploration but most importantly, it highlights the wonder of the written word. ~ Liz Robinson
This book was shortlisted for the 2015 Forward Prize for Best First Collection, Longlisted for the 2015 Guardian First Book Award, and, Longlisted for the 2015 Foyles Green Carnation Prize. Raw and urgent, these poems are hymns to the male body - to male friendship and male love - muscular, sometimes shocking, but always deeply moving. We are witness here to an almost religious celebration of the flesh: a flesh vital with the vulnerability of love and loss, to desire and its departure. In an extraordinary blend of McMillan's own colloquial Yorkshire rhythms with a sinewy, Metaphysical music and Thom Gunn's torque and speed - 'your kiss was deep enough to stand in' - the poems in this first collection confront what it is to be a man and interrogate the very idea of masculinity. This is poetry where every instance of human connection, from the casual encounter to the intimate relationship, becomes redeemable and revelatory. Dispensing with conventional punctuation, the poet is attentive and alert to the quality of breathing, giving the work an extraordinary sense of being vividly poised and present - drawing lines that are deft, lyrical and perfectly pitched from a world of urban dereliction.
This multi-award winning collection, the first from Ted Hughes, has at its heart the mixture of beauty and violence in the natural world. Dedicated to Sylvia Plath, Hawk in the Rain is a stunning collection of poems on the themes of competition and the struggle for survival. Hughes would go on to become Britain's Poet Laureate in 1984 until his death in 1998.
Representing 20 nationalities and ranging in age from their early 20s to their late 80s, the majority are public figures not prone to crying. Here they admit to breaking down when ambushed by great art, often in words as powerful as the poems themselves. 75 per cent of the selected poems were written in the 20th century, with more than a dozen by women. Their themes range from love in its many guises, through mortality and loss, to the beauty and variety of nature. Three men have suffered the pain of losing a child; others are moved to tears by the exquisite way a poet captures, in Alexander Pope's famous phrase, 'what oft was thought, but ne'er so well express'd'. From J.J Abrams to John le Carre, Salman Rushdie to Jonathan Franzen, Daniel Radcliffe to Nick Cave, Ian McEwan to Stephen Fry, Stanley Tucci to Colin Firth, and Seamus Heaney to Christopher Hitchens, this collection delivers private insight into the souls of men whose writing, acting, and thinking are admired around the world.
Shortlisted For The Forward Prize For Best First Collection 2015. There is a Chinese proverb that says: 'It is more profitable to raise geese than daughters.' But geese, like daughters, know the obligation to return home. In her exquisite first collection, Sarah Howe explores a dual heritage, journeying back to Hong Kong in search of her roots. With extraordinary range and power, the poems build into a meditation on hybridity, intermarriage and love - what meaning we find in the world, in art, and in each other.
In the informal rituals of the tide remaking its tideline, of a painter absorbed in the act of painting or of an old couple greeting the night, the English poet Kate Miller sees and charts the creative process at work. As its title suggests, Miller's striking debut collection explores perception, the poet's eye and ear trained on distances that stretch beyond comfort zones. This is a book full of movement: even quiet reflections on home and family life are rarely still.
Larkin's final collection of poems shows, as does all his best work, his ability to adapt contemporary speech rhythms and everyday vocabulary to subtle metrical patterns and poetic forms. Rather than words comes the thought of high windows: The sun-comprehending glass, And beyond it, the deep blue air, that shows Nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless. - from High Windows .
T.S. Eliot - editor, poet, critic and publisher - was the greatest poet of his generation. The winner of the 1948 Nobel Prize for Literature, virtually every English language poet since owes him a debt of gratitude.
In this beautiful paperback edition, poems old and new, familiar and unfamiliar explore such diverse topics as love, London, exile, family, dreams, war, music and nature, and feature hundreds of poets including Owen Sheers, Paul Muldoon, Sylvia Plath, William Blake, D. H. Lawrence, Kathleen Raine, Roger McGough, Wilfred Owen, Wendy Cope and John Clare, among many others.
Agbabi, Armitage, Burnside, Duffy, Dunmore, Fanthorpe, Heaney, Motion, Nagra, O'Brien and more Poems of the Decade brings together more than one hundred poems from the many thousands submitted to the Forward Prizes for Poetry in the first decade of the 21st century. The Forwards are among the world's most coveted poetry honours. They have been awarded annually since 1992 for the Best Collection, Best First Collection and Best Single Poem published in Britain and Ireland, and the roster of winning, shortlisted and highly commended poets regularly juxtaposes familiar canonical names with fresh voices. This anthology of anthologies draws on the ten Forward Books of Poetry published to accompany the prizes between 2001 and 2010. It is the perfect introduction to a wide range of contemporary poetry: works that speak of violence, danger and fear, of love and all that opposes love, in forms of language broken and reshaped by the need to communicate what it is to be alive now, here. These annual anthologies of the poems in the running for the Forward Prizes remain the best way of encountering the richness that new poetry has to offer. (Daily Telegraph).
From William Shakespeare to Carol Ann Duffy, our most popular and best loved poets and poems are gathered in one essential collection, alongside many lesser known treasures that are waiting to be discovered. These are poems that help you to see the miraculous in the commonplace and turn the everyday into the exceptional - to discover, in Kipling's words, that yours is the Earth and everything that's in it.
From the Haiku to Xanadu, a well-crafted poem can speak of an experience of our world in a way that stays with us for a long time; often for life. Everyone has a poem they learned in school that holds increased sentimental importance as time goes by.
The ability of words and language to define us and the poet’s ability to harness it are what makes poetry such a powerful genre. The field is huge, the subjects covered too numerous to list. From the fields of Flanders to the kitchen sink there are poems that encapsulate all of human life. Funny, thought-provoking, challenging, evocative, story-telling, satire and tribute. All are here. Why not use our special recommendations to find something to inspire you today?