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.

Poems on the Underground

Poems on the Underground

Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/03/2015

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.

eBooks of the Month
The Broken Word

The Broken Word

Author: Adam Foulds Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/04/2008

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."

eBooks of the Month
The Making of Poetry

The Making of Poetry

Author: Adam Nicolson Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/05/2019

SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA BIOGRAPHY AWARD 2019 Wordsworth and Coleridge as you've never seen them before in this new book by Adam Nicolson, brimming with poetry, art and nature writing. Proof that poetry can change the world. It is the most famous year in English poetry. Out of it came The Ancient Mariner and 'Kubla Khan', as well as Coleridge's unmatched hymns to friendship and fatherhood, Wordsworth's revolutionary verses in Lyrical Ballads and the greatness of 'Tintern Abbey', his paean to the unity of soul and cosmos, love and understanding. Bestselling and award-winning writer Adam Nicolson tells the story, almost day by day, of the year in the late 1790s that Coleridge, Wordsworth, his sister Dorothy and an ever-shifting cast of friends, dependants and acolytes spent together in the Quantock Hills in Somerset. To a degree never shown before, The Making of Poetry explores the idea that these poems came from this place, and that only by experiencing the physical circumstances of the year, in all weathers and all seasons, at night and at dawn, in sunlit reverie and moonlit walks, can the genesis of the poetry start to be understood. What emerges is a portrait of these great figures as young people, troubled, ambitious, dreaming of a vision of wholeness, knowing they had greatness in them but still in urgent search of the paths towards it. The poetry they made was not from settled conclusions but from the adventure on which they were all embarked, seeing what they wrote as a way of stripping away all the dead matter, exfoliating consciousness, penetrating its depths. Poetry for them was not an ornament for civilisation but a challenge to it, a means of remaking the world.

Rhymes and Reason (Pandemic Polemic and Prose)

Rhymes and Reason (Pandemic Polemic and Prose)

Author: Alan McDonald Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/07/2021

An interesting way to record the events of March 2020 to March 2021, ‘Rhymes and Reason (Pandemic Polemic and Prose)’ by Alan McDonald provides a diary of limericks covering a lot of the key events and talking points during a year like no other. The bounce in the limerick style and the overall brevity of each poem means each subject is handled in a way that’s quite light, you’ll find no in depth or balanced political arguments here. ‘Rhymes and Reason’ is a personal record that will serve as a reminder, for those that want it, of most of what transpired throughout 2020. There is humour and satire within the text and each poem is introduced with a brief sentence or paragraph about the events unfolding. I think that this is a creative way to document the year and found it to be a light-hearted reminder of just how much has happened in the last year. I found each limerick well written and each introduction sufficient to set the scene without detracting from the main feature of the diary. A unique diary that I’m sure will inspire those who pick it up to reflect and remember their own experiences. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

Clear Light

Clear Light

Author: Alan Spence Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/08/2005

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.

eBooks of the Month
In a Time of Distance And Other Poems

In a Time of Distance And Other Poems

Author: Alexander McCall Smith Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/10/2020

Best known for his No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series, Alexander McCall Smith’s writing is nothing if not warm-hearted, charming and filled with the joys of friendship - themes and characteristics that are at the heart of this delightful poetry anthology. Being a book to treasure and return to through the year (and across years), this will make a wonderful gift for fans of his fiction - even those who don’t usually read poetry. With sections covering the likes of journeys, Scotland through the seasons, animals, love and longing, books and reading, and places - with contextualisation coming courtesy of the author’s personal anecdotes - many of the poems invite readers to slow down, to look, to see, to remember. To take-in “the simple facts of being”. Others take readers on evocative journeys - we stand beside the author as he observes Mumbai from his hotel room, and as he and a friend save an oak tree in Scotland. We sit beside him as his train pulls into Kings Cross, as he drives through Los Angeles, as he explores Kerala, South India, and rural Australia. And all of them inspire reflection, and an empathetic urge to take-in the world through the eyes of others.

Dart

Dart

Author: Alice Oswald Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/05/2010

Over the past three years Alice Oswald has been recording conversations with people who live and work on the River Dart in Devon. 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.

eBooks of the Month
Memorial

Memorial

Author: Alice Oswald Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/10/2012

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

eBooks of the Month
Falling Awake

Falling Awake

Author: Alice Oswald Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/07/2016

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.

eBooks of the Month
The Watch That Ends the Night : Voices from the Titanic

The Watch That Ends the Night : Voices from the Titanic

Author: Allan Wolf Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/02/2012

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.

IF A Treasury of Poems for Almost Every Possibility

IF A Treasury of Poems for Almost Every Possibility

Author: Allie Esiri Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/10/2012

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

eBooks of the Month
The Hill We Climb

The Hill We Climb

Author: Amanda Gorman Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/03/2021

On 20 January 2021, Amanda Gorman spoke a message of truth and hope to millions. Aged twenty-two, she delivered a poetry reading at the inauguration of US President Joe Biden. Her poem, 'The Hill We Climb', addressed the country and reached across the world: a call for a brave future. This special edition, which includes an enduring foreword by Oprah Winfrey, marks that poem and offers us courage, consolation and the inspiration to make change.