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.

100 Poems Old and New

100 Poems Old and New

Author: Rudyard Kipling Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/06/2018

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), winner of the 1907 Nobel Prize for Literature and author of one of the most popular poems in the English language, 'If-', has long captured the interest of poetry lovers. Here, Thomas Pinney brings together a selection of well-established favourites and the best of the previously uncollected and unpublished poems from The Cambridge Edition of the Poems of Rudyard Kipling (2013). The poems, whether exploring the colonial experience, exposing the injustice of war, or appreciating the beauties of nature, resonate with Kipling's keen observations of his world and strong sense of poetic rhythm. Discovered by Pinney in an array of unlikely hiding places, the uncollected and unpublished poems show the diversity and development of Kipling's talent over his lifetime, and, when combined with long-held favourites, offer readers a unique opportunity to experience Kipling's mastery of poetry in a new way.

1914: Poetry Remembers

1914: Poetry Remembers

Author: Carol Ann Duffy Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/08/2014

The First World War holds a unique place in the nation's history; the poetry it produced, a unique place in the nation's hearts. To mark the centenary of the First World War in 2014, the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, has engaged the most eminent poets of the present to choose the writing from the Great War that touched them most profoundly: their choices are here in this powerful and moving assembly. But this anthology is more than a record of war writing. Carol Ann Duffy has commissioned these same poets of the present to look back across the past and write a poem of their own in response to the war to end all wars. Whether as a reader your interest is in the Great War or the great war poets, or whether it is in the poetry of today, this anthology will hold a special place in your affections, as it remembers and recalls - a and through its commissioned work, renews and honours - the engagement between poetry and this terrible, unworldly of world conflicts.

eBooks of the Month
40 Sonnets

40 Sonnets

Author: Don Paterson Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/09/2016

This new collection from Don Paterson, his first since the Forward prize-winning Rain in 2009, is a series of forty sonnets. Some take a more traditional form, some are highly experimental, but what these poems share is a lyrical intelligence and musical gift that has been visible in his work since his first book of poems, Nil Nil, in 2009. Addressed to children, friends and enemies, the living and the dead, musicians, poets and dogs, these poems display an ambition in their scope and tonal range matched by the breadth of their concerns. Here, voices call home from the blackout and the airlock, the storm cave and the seance, the coalshed, the war, the ringroad, the forest and the sea. These are voices frustrated by distance, by shot glass and bar rail, by the dark, leaving the 'sound that fades up from the hiss, / like a glass some random downdraught had set ringing, / now full of its only note, its lonely call . . .' In 40 Sonnets Paterson returns to some of his central themes - contradiction and strangeness, tension and transformation, the dream world, and the divided self - in some of the most powerful and formally assured poems he has written to date. This is a rich and accomplished new work from one of the foremost poets writing in English today.

eBooks of the Month
A Blood Condition

A Blood Condition

Author: Kayo Chingonyi Format: Paperback Release Date: 22/04/2021

The moving, expansive, and dazzling second collection from award-winning poet Kayo Chingonyi Kayo Chingonyi's remarkable second collection follows the course of a 'blood condition' as it finds its way to deeply personal grounds. From the banks of the Zambezi river to London and Leeds, these poems speak to how distance and time, nations and history, can collapse within a body. With astonishing lyricism and musicality, this is a story of multiple inheritances -- of grief and survival, renewal and the painful process of letting go -- and a hymn to the people and places that run in our blood.

A Double Sorrow Troilus and Criseyde

A Double Sorrow Troilus and Criseyde

Author: Lavinia Greenlaw Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/03/2014

Shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award 2014. When Chaucer composed Troilus and Criseyde he gave us, some say, his finest poem, and with it one of the most captivating love stories ever written. A Double Sorrow, Lavinia Greenlaw's new work, takes its title from the opening line of that poem in a fresh telling of this most tortured of love affairs. Set against the Siege of Troy, A Double Sorrow is the story of Trojan hero Troilus and his beloved Criseyde, whose traitorous father has defected to the Greeks and has persuaded them to ask for his daughter in an exchange of prisoners. In an attempt to save her, Troilus suggests that Criseyde flees the besieged city with him, but she knows that she will be universally condemned and looks instead to a temporary measure: pretending to submit to the exchange, while promising Troilus that she will return to him within ten days. But once in the company of the Greeks she soon realises the impossibility of her promise to Troilus, and in despair succumbs to another. Lavinia Greenlaw's pinpoint retelling of this heart-wrenching tale is neither a translation nor strictly a 'version' of Chaucer's work, but instead creates something new: a sequence of glimpses from the medieval poem that refine the psychological drama of the classical story through a process of detonation or amplification of image and phrase into original poems. In a series of skillfully crafted seven-line vignettes, the author creates a zoetrope that serves to illuminate the intensity with which these characters argue each other and themselves into and out of love. The result is a breathtaking and shattering read -contemporary and timeless - that builds into an unforgettable telling of this most heartbreaking of love stories.

A Nature Poem for Every Day of the Year

A Nature Poem for Every Day of the Year

Author: Jane McMorland Hunter Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/10/2018

Wake up to the wonder of our countryside with this gorgeous book containing a nature poem for every day of the year. I adore this idea, in a world that is changing and becoming endangered in our lifetime, reading a poem a day about nature through the seasons helps to open our eyes to the importance of simple natural beauty and pleasures. The cover is a stunner, bold, simple colours catch the eye, the illustrations by Tatiana Boyko effectively highlight the introduction to each month contained within. The poems range from old to new, the poets from the well known such as William Blake, Percy Bysshe Shelley and Edgar Allan Poe, to those I hadn’t heard of, all of the poems connect with love to the natural world that surrounds us. Jane McMorland Hunter explains in her introduction that the poems are either in their entirety or reduced to an extract. The natural world is what is on show here, and an extract can, in essence, highlight the beauty of that with just a few simple lines such as Thomas Lovell Beddoes “A Lake Is a river curled and asleep like a snake”. Any extracts are explained, so you can easily search out the rest of the poem. A Nature Poem for Every Day of the Year is going to sit on my bedside table, I can’t wait to open it up each day, to reaffirm and celebrate my love for nature.

A Nature Poem for Every Night of the Year

A Nature Poem for Every Night of the Year

Author: Jane McMorland Hunter Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/09/2020

Companion to A Nature Poem for Every Day of the Year and Friends: A Poem for Every Day of the Year, A Nature Poem for Every Night of the Year is an exquisitely curated collection that induces calm contemplation as it evokes nature in all its awe-inspiring forms - frozen lakes, majestic trees, creeping autumnal twilights, disquieting night winds, multitudes of birds, and much more besides. It’s a book to reach out to before bed, for pondering each poem will instil a sense of slowing down before sleep sets in, nurturing gentle focus and moments of natural respite.  As the book progresses through the year, there’s a tangible sense of nature budding, blooming and abating through the shifting seasons. We walk with Oscar Wilde by the “withered leaf of the moon”. We pass through the “door of spring” with Ethelwyn Wetherald. We revel in springtime birdsong beside William Wordsworth. We’re dazzled by Christina Rossetti’s blossoming “golden glories”. And then comes Betjeman’s harvesttime hues, Tennyson’s September dew, and Sara Teasdale’s “feathery filigree of frost”. Alongside such esteemed names, lesser-known poets are included too, which means it also serves as an excellent springboard to discovering hitherto unknown voices.

Star Books
A Scattering

A Scattering

Author: Christopher Reid Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/01/2009

  Winner of the Costa Book of the Year Award 2009.   Josephine Hart, chair of the final judges, said: ”Out of a personal tragedy, Christopher Reid has written a masterwork which has universal power. Austere, beautiful and moving – we all felt this is a book we would want everyone to read. Packed full of unforgettable lines, A Scattering is a remarkable piece.”

A Scattering and Anniversary

A Scattering and Anniversary

Author: Christopher Reid Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/08/2019

This edition brings together A Scattering and Anniversary into a single book of lamentation and remembrance, its subject being Christopher Reid's wife, the actress Lucinda Gane, who died of cancer at the age of fifty-five. A Scattering was first published in the UK in 2009 to wide acclaim, winning the Costa Book of the Year Award. This moving and fiercely self-reflective collection is divided into four poetic sequences. The first was written during a holiday a few months before Gane's death with the knowledge that the end was approaching; the second recalls her last courageous weeks, spent in a hospice in London; the third continues the exploration of bereavement from a variety of perspectives; and the fourth addresses her directly, celebrating her life, personality and achievements. Pairing A Scattering for the first time with Anniversary, which was written to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Gane's death, this volume brings Reid into dialogue, again, with the wife he loved. A moving exploration of the stages of grief and how the 'weighty emptinesses' that remain after bereavement change us, A Scattering and Anniversary show us what it means to love, lose and - forever changed - continue on.

ABC, My Grannie Caught a Flea Scots Children's Songs and Rhymes

ABC, My Grannie Caught a Flea Scots Children's Songs and Rhymes

Author: Ewan McVicar Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/03/2014

An ebullient collection of favourite Scottish rhymes and songs for adults to read to their children. These verses show how the old rhymes are still popular with children – despite the arrival of newer technologies - and that they are inspiring the creation of new versions with a contemporary twist. Armed with this collection no adult will ever be short of a rhyme or a song!

eBooks of the Month
All One Breath

All One Breath

Author: John Burnside Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/02/2014

This is shortlisted for the 2014 T.S. Eliot Prize and the Forward Prize for Best Collection. In this absorbing, brilliant new collection - his first since Black Cat Bone - John Burnside examines our shared experience of this mortal world: how we are 'all one breath' and - with that breath - how we must strive towards the harmony of choir. Recognising that our attitudes to other creatures - human and non-human - cause too much damage and hurt, that 'we've been going at this for years: a steady delete of anything that tells us what we are', these poems celebrate the fleeting, charged moments where, through measured and gracious encounters with other lives, we find our true selves, and bring some brief, insubstantial goodness and beauty into being. He presents the world in a series of still lifes, in tableaux vivants and tableaux morts, in laboratory tests, anatomy lessons, in a Spiegelkabinett where the reflections in the mirrors, distorted as they seem, reveal buried truths. All the images are in some sense self-portraits: all are, in some way, elegies. One of the finest and most celebrated lyric poets at work today, John Burnside is a master of the moment - when the frames of our film seem to slow and stop and a life slips through the gap in between - and each poem here is a perfect, uncanny hymn to humanity, set down 'to tell the lives of others'.

eBooks of the Month
All The Names Given

All The Names Given

Author: Raymond Antrobus Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/09/2021

Raymond Antrobus's astonishing debut collection, The Perseverance, won both Rathbone Folio Prize and the Ted Hughes Award, amongst many other accolades; the poet's much anticipated second collection, All The Names Given, continues his essential investigation into language, miscommunication, place, and memory. Throughout, All The Names Given is punctuated with [Caption Poems] partially inspired by Deaf sound artist Christine Sun Kim, which attempt to fill in the silences and transitions between the poems, as well as moments inside and outside of them. Direct, open, formally sophisticated, All The Names Given breaks new ground both in form and content: the result is a timely, humane and tender book from one of the most important young poets of his generation.