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Poetry Books

Short and sweet poems and sonnets or lyrical and lengthy epics, sit back and relax while you enjoy the work of these wonderful wordsmiths.

Hill of Doors

Hill of Doors

Author: Robin Robertson Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/02/2013

Shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award 2013. Charged with strangeness and beauty, Hill of Doors is a haunted and haunting book, where each successive poem seems a shape conjured from the shadows, and where the uncanny is made physically present. The collection sees the return of some familiar members of the Robertson company, including Strindberg -- heading, as usual, towards calamity -- and the shape-shifter Dionysus. Four loose retellings of stories of the Greek god form pillars for the book, alongside four short Ovid versions. Threaded through these are a series of pieces about the poet's childhood on the north-east coast, his fascination with the sea and the islands of Scotland. However, the reader will also discover a distinct new note in Robertson's austere but ravishing poetry: towards the possibility of contentment -- a house, a door, a key -- finding, at last, a 'happiness of the hand and heart'.

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The Overhaul

The Overhaul

Author: Kathleen Jamie Format: Paperback Release Date: 11/10/2012

Winner of the Costa Poetry Award 2012. Shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry 2012. The Overhaul is Kathleen Jamie's first collection since the award-winning The Tree House, and it broadens her poetic range considerably. The Overhaul continues Jamie's lyric enquiry into the aspects of the world our rushing lives elide, and even threaten. Whether she is addressing birds or rivers, or the need to accept loss, or sometimes, the desire to escape our own lives, her work is earthy and rigorous, her language at once elemental and tender. As an essayist, she has frequently queried our human presence in the world with the question 'How are we to live?' Here, this is answered more personally than ever.

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Stag's Leap

Stag's Leap

Author: Sharon Olds Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/10/2012

Winner of the T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry 2012. In this wise and intimate telling - which carries us through the seasons when her marriage was ending - Sharon Olds opens her heart to the reader, sharing the feeling of invisibility that comes when we are no longer standing in love's sight; the surprising physical passion that still exists between a couple during parting; the loss of everything from her husband's smile to the set of his hip. Olds is naked before us, curious and brave and even generous toward the man who was her mate for thirty years and now loves another woman. As she writes in the remarkable title poem, 'When anyone escapes, my heart / leaps up. Even when it's I who am escaped from, / I am half on the side of the leaver'. Olds' propulsive poetic line and the magic of her imagery are as lively as ever, and there is a new range to the music - sometimes headlong, sometimes contemplative and deep. Her unsparing approach to both pain and love makes this one of the finest, most powerful books of poetry Olds has yet given us.

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People Who Like Meatballs

People Who Like Meatballs

Author: Selima Hill Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/09/2012

Shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award 2012. People Who Like Meatballs brings together two contrasting poem sequences about rejection by 'this brilliant lyricist of human darkness' (Fiona Sampson). The title-sequence, People Who Like Meatballs , is about a man's humiliation by a woman. Into my mother's snow-encrusted lap is about a dysfunctional mother-child relationship.

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Collected Poems of Samuel Beckett

Collected Poems of Samuel Beckett

Author: Samuel Beckett Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/07/2012

It was as a poet that Samuel Beckett launched himself in the little reviews of 1930s Paris, and as a poet that he ended his career. The Collected Poems is the most complete edition of Beckett's poetry and verse translations ever to be published, as well as the first critical edition. It establishes a significant new canon, and the commentary draws on a wide range of published sources, manuscripts and Beckett's extensive correspondence. The notes place each poem in context, detailing the history and circumstances of its composition; they indicate significant variants and help explain obscure turns of phrase and allusions (frequently sourced to Beckett's notebooks); they also identify resonances between poems and across Beckett's work as a whole. The commentary is written in a lively and engaging style and is intended equally for the general reader, the student of modernism and the Beckett specialist.

Bee Journal

Bee Journal

Author: Sean Borodale Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/07/2012

Shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award 2012. Shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry 2012. Bee Journal is a startlingly original poetry sequence: a poem-journal of beekeeping that chronicles the life of the hive, from the collection of a small nucleus on the first day to the capture of a swarm two years later. It observes the living architecture of the comb, the range and locality of the colony; its flights, flowers, water sources, parasites, lives and deaths. These poems were written at the hive wearing a veil and gloves, and the journal is an intrinsic part of the kinetic activity of keeping bees: making 'tiny, regular checks' in the turn around the central figure of the sun, and minute exploratory interventions through the round of the year. The book is full of moments of revelation - particularly of the relationship between the domestic and the wild. In attempting to record and invoke something of the complexity of the relationship between 'keeper' and 'kept' it tunes ear and speech towards the ecstasy of bees, between the known and the unknown. Because of its genesis as a working journal, there is here an unusual intimacy and deep scrutiny of life and death in nature. The language itself is dense and clotted, the imagery thrillingly fresh, and the observing eye close, scrupulous and full of wonder.

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The World's Two Smallest Humans

The World's Two Smallest Humans

Author: Julia Copus Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/07/2012

Shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award 2012. These finely tuned poems are the fruit of her upbringing in a musical family, an affinity with the Classics, a fascination with the arc of time, and an unflinching scrutiny of love and personal relationships. Born out of a powerful sense of place, the poems navigate through a beguiling sequence of interior and exterior landscapes, whether revisiting Ovid, negotiating the perils of one composer's attempt to step into the shoes of another or describing, from shifting perspectives, a young girl's escape from suburban ennui. The book concludes with a moving arrangement of pieces that explore the author's experience of IVF: poems written with wry humour and with grace, which celebrate the mysteries of conception alongside the sometimes surreal business of medical intervention. The World's Two Smallest Humans is an unforgettable read.

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Jubilee Lines

Jubilee Lines

Author: Carol Ann Duffy Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/05/2012

To mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the throne, Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy brings together a dazzling array of contemporary poets (sixty in fact) to write about each of the sixty years of 'Her Majesty's' reign. Celebrated writers as Simon Armitage, Gillian Clarke, Wendy Cope, Geoffrey Hill, Jackie Kay, Michael Longley, Andrew Motion, Don Paterson, and Jo Shapcott, alongside some of the newest young talent around - address a moment or event from their chosen year, be it of personal or political significance or both. Through a series of specially commissioned poems, Jubilee Lines offers a unique portrayal of the country and times in which we have lived since 1952, culminating in an essential portrait of today: the way we speak, the way we chronicle, the way we love and fight, and the way we honour and remember. Brilliantly introduced and edited by Carol Ann Duffy, Jubilee Lines is an unforgettable commemoration: not only a monarch's reign but of a way of living for generations of her people.

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England My England A Treasury of All Things English

England My England A Treasury of All Things English

Author: Gerry Hanson Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/04/2012

With contributions from Sir Thomas Beecham, Rupert Brooke, William Blake, Noel Coward, Rudyard Kipling, John Betjeman and many more, there is also a chapter entitled 'As Others See Us', which includes George Mikes' observation, 'An Englishman, even if he is alone, forms an orderly queue of one.' With chapters on the English garden, language, institutions, heritage and how we see ourselves, this is a comprehensive treasury of the country and its people. An entertaining, eclectic and serendipitious collection that will delight and surprise in equal measure, England, My England is a real treasure house of pleasing patriotism to savour and share.

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?