No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…Find out more
Short and sweet poems and sonnets or lyrical and lengthy epics, sit back and relax while you enjoy the work of these wonderful wordsmiths.
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.
Winner of the Costa Poetry Award 2008.Costa Book Awards 2008 Judges' comment: "This heart-stopping story about the Mau Mau uprising brings hidden conflicts of conscience, race and class to the surface in a brutally compelling narrative."
Alan Spence's collection of haiku beautifully explores brief moments in time, from making a cup of tea to a summer downpour. There are 150 poems, perfect for dipping into or reading in one sitting. Delightful.
Using these records and voices as a sort of poetic census, she creates a narrative of the river, tracking its life from source to sea. The voices are wonderfully varied and idiomatic - they include a poacher, a ferryman, a sewage worker and milk worker, a forester, swimmers and canoeists - and are interlinked with historic and mythic voices, drowned voices, dreaming voices and marginal notes which act as markers along the way.
Matthew Arnold praised the Iliad for its 'nobility', as has everyone ever since - but ancient critics praised it for its enargeia, its 'bright unbearable reality' (the word used when gods come to earth not in disguise but as themselves). To retrieve the poem's energy, Alice Oswald has stripped away its story, and her account focuses by turns on Homer's extended similes and on the brief 'biographies' of the minor war-dead, most of whom are little more than names, but each of whom lives and dies unforgettably - and unforgotten - in the copiousness of Homer's glance. 'The Iliad is an oral poem. This translation presents it as an attempt - in the aftermath of the Trojan War - to remember people's names and lives without the use of writing. I hope it will have its own coherence as a series of memories and similes laid side by side: an antiphonal account of man in his world...compatible with the spirit of oral poetry, which was never stable but always adapting itself to a new audience, as if its language, unlike written language, was still alive and kicking.' (Alice Oswald).
Working as before with an ear to the oral tradition, these poems attend to the organic shapes and sounds and momentum of the language as it's spoken as well as how it's thought: fresh, fluid and propulsive, but also fragmentary, repetitive. These are poems that are written to be read aloud. Orpheus and Tithonus appear at the beginning and end of this book, alive in an English landscape, stuck in the clockwork of their own speech, and the Hours - goddesses of the seasons and the natural apportioning of Time - are the presiding figures. The persistent conditions are flux and falling, and the lines are in constant motion: approaching, from daring new angles, our experience of being human, and coalescing into poems of simple, stunning beauty.
Arrogance and innocence, hubris and hope - twenty-four haunting voices of the Titanic tragedy, as well as the iceberg itself, are evoked in a stunning tour de force.
Reviewed and selected by our poetry expert, Liam Parkin. Poetry for a younger audience is often ‘shunted in the realm of schoolwork’ as Allie Esri and Rachel Kelly notice, but this beautiful anthology reminds us of the resonance that particular poems, verses and lines can have throughout our life. Accompanying the diverse selection of poets are fun little facts capturing the childlike wonder within this collection, which will even make the most seasoned reader stop and think. Ranging from ‘Humour and Nonsense’ to ‘Lessons for Life’, William Wordsworth to John Agard, this anthology instils in us all the power of poetry that is often taken for granted, and is one of those books that will always be close to you, no matter how old you are. To get the IF poetry app for your iPhone click the big button or click this smaller button for the iPad version
Encompassing works from ancient sages, classic poets, well-known thinkers and emerging contemporary innovators from all walks of life, this involving, inclusive collection inspires, entertains, enthrals and emboldens. Alongside enjoying the work of widely-esteemed names (including Sappho, George Eliot, Sylvia Plath, Carol Ann Duffy, Jackie Kay, Christina Rosetti, Maya Angelou, Emily Dickinson and Margaret Atwood), it was a pleasure to discover contemporary poets whose work I shall seek out, among them Ruth Awola and Remi Graves, and lesser-known names from the past, for example Edith Södergran and Astrid Hjertenaes Andersen. If the diversity of voices is rich, so too are the themes, with growing up, friendship, love, nature, body image and protest covered in staggering depth and diversity. This varied chorus of bold, incisive voices makes for a collection to be savoured and shared.
‘We British’ is a remarkable book, full to the brim with some extraordinary poetry that will encourage you to open your heart and mind. Andrew Marr looks beyond the obvious, even when including some of our most famous poets and he also firmly links poetry with British history through the ages giving you a sense as you read, of capturing a slice in time. If you are British, this is a book to encourage questions, a thirst for more knowledge and a feeling of accessibility to our poetry and history. There are many famous poets mentioned or quoted, plus some I had not heard of, and that really is one of the joys of this book. I loved re-reading old favourites, such as Tennyson’s ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’ and Chaucer’s ‘The Miller’s Tale’ and often found myself reading out loud, sighing, weeping or laughing as the words, the rhythm connected inside me. I was also introduced to some new poetry, poetry that perhaps I should have known, such as ‘Last Post’ by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy. With the intriguing yet entirely appropriate mix of poetry and history, ‘We British’ is not only the 'poetry of a people', but also the essence, structure and, a wonderful chronicle of the lands that make up Great Britain. ~ 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.
Shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry 2010. The Poetry Book Society view... The Mirabelles is Annie Freud’s second collection, and a quick glance at the contents page reveals a similar penchant for highly arresting titles we might recognise from her first book, The Best Man That Ever Was; should we turn to ‘Cod’s Roe for a Crying Woman’ first, ordoes ‘Sting’s Wife’s Jam Has Done You Good’ take your fancy? Though however much the titles here might draw us in, or draw attention to themselves, it’s the alacrity, ardour and aplomb evident time and again in the poems themselves which really impress; the way sensuousness, desire or disappointment are alloyed to the picaresque or the encomiastic; the way her narratives can carry us into unusual emotional territory and end up striking strange, beguiling chords.Overall, the book achieves a convincing point of balance between a predilection for the quirky or whimsical and weightier, deeper shadings by admitting both into the same spaces. It also feels, from line to line, thoroughly convincing, distinctive and effortless. In The Mirabelles, Freud has produced that very rare bird indeed: the excellent second collection.
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?