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Staying Alive

28 Oct


This book is one of the best poetry collections that I have read ever. The editor Neil Astley in his introduction states he wanted to bring together poetry which “speaks to us with the same unnerving power now as when we first cam across them”.

This book includes some of the best poems by the great poets of recent history like Yeats, Frost, Kavanagh, Heaney, Auden etc. but also includes works which english speakers will not know such as the translated works of Polish, Hungarian and Sweedish poets.

This is an excellent book for both beginners (especially IMO) and for those who enjoy poetry – you have wonderful mix of known and unknown contemporary poets, divided into sections such as “War and Peace”. Neil Astley didn’t just pick wonderful poems but laid them out juxtaposing opposite tones of the same theme side by side.

On a personal note one of my favourites of the collection is an anonymous poem (although many seem to be linked to it) – Do Not Stand at my Grace and Weep.