The power of poetry and plays to help us find courage, solace, and energy is widely acknowledged. In reading poetry we are free to extract our own meanings, and we accept that there is no one right answer. Plays bring to life the stories we tell, encouraging empathy and imagination.
Seamus Heaney had the idea to form a personal selection of poems from across the entire arc of his writing life, small yet comprehensive enough to serve as an introduction for all comers. But now, finally, the project has been returned to, resulting in an intimate gathering of poems chosen and introduced by the Heaney family.
Staying Human is the latest addition to Bloodaxe's Staying Alive series of world poetry anthologies which have introduced many thousands of new readers to contemporary poetry. This fourth volume in the series offers poetry lovers an even broader, international selection, with a strong focus on 21st-century poems addressing current issues.
Taking its inspiration from Shakespeare's idea of the 'seven ages' of a human life, this anthology brings together the poems in English. Beginning with babies, it is divided into sections on childhood, growing up, making a living and making love, family life, getting older, and approaching death, ending with poems of mourning and commemoration.
'I can't bear the thought of a world without Michael Longley, yet his poetry keeps hurtling towards that fact more and more urgently as it stretches in an unflinching way beyond comfort or certainty.' So wrote Maria Johnston, reviewing Longley's previous book Angel Hill.
An anthology that includes such legendary songs as "Suzanne", "Sisters of Mercy", "Bird on the Wire", "Famous Blue Raincoat" and "I'm Your Man" and poems from many collections including "Flowers for Hitler", "Beautiful Losers" and "Death of a Lady's Man".
The poems in this new collection, by arguably the most important living Irish woman poet, seek out the delicate intersections between generation, identity, and the deep losses inflicted by history on those who can bear them least.
Throughout the remote and forgotten corners of the British Isles, Frank Hardy offers the promise of redemption to the sick and the suffering. But his is an unreliable gift, a dangerous calling which brings him into conflict with his wife Grace and his manager Teddy.
This volume contains all of Sylvia Plath's mature poetry written from 1956 up to her death in 1963. It was awarded the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. The text is preceded by an introduction by Ted Hughes and followed by notes and comments on individual poems. An appendix contains 50 earlier poems.