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Grab Some Poems to Take Home!

Written by Dave Cookson, 14th July 2011

For those who aren't already proud owners of a copy, you should know that we have our own brilliant poetry anthology - Poems to Take Home. If you are a member of a Get Into Reading group then this is an excellent (and free!) opportunity to take a bit of it home with you. This anthology of poetry is by no means exclusive to GIR members or facilitators, if you're a lover of poetry then this is right up your street. If you struggle with poetry or just don't feel at one with it then there is bound to be something within its pages that tickles your fancy.

The works of poetry come from some of the greatest of all time and were chosen by our very own GIR group members. Amongst the popular choices were Wordsworth ('I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud'); John Masefield ('Cargoes'); Rilke ('Evening'); Browning ('Home Thoughts from Abroad') Kipling ('If') and Henley ('Invictus').

Poems can range from the profound (Owen - 'Dulce Et Decorum Est') or inspirational (Coolidge - 'New Every Morning') to the more light-hearted and familiar (Lear - 'The Owl and the Pussy-Cat') or romantic (Burns - 'A Red, Red Rose'). There are so many brilliant poems it is practically impossible to list them all, but some of the greats from the literary/poetic canon help make this a wonderful and diverse anthology.

Once you have your copy you may want to sit down quietly with a cup of tea and a bit of cake (not that we're condoning unhealthy diets!) and indulge in some fine poetry. You may want to share it with family/friends, after all, poetry is at its best when it is read aloud.

In addition to the poetry, Poems to Take Home contains comments about GIR and the poems themselves from GIR members, facilitators and The Reader staff. Take for example, Kate McDonnell's response to Coventry Patmore's 'The Toys':

I've used this poem on several occasions in Get Into Reading groups when we've been reading Marghanita Laski's novel, Little Boy Lost, and every time I've found it impossible to read it aloud without getting a lump in my throat!

or a GIR member's response to William Henry Davies' 'Leisure' (What is this life, if full of care...'

My life used to be hectic, 100 mph stuff, never taking in the simpler finer things of life - the things we take for granted. A head injury has slowed me down and it has made me take notice and watch and listen and care more. 'Leisure' is what I do now.

Poems to Take Home gives an insight into Get Into Reading but the focus lies well and truly with the poetry. One of the great things I have found about this book is that it features works I had not read but was familiar with the poet prior to reading. For example 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' is one of my favourite pieces of writing of all time, but I had not read 'Work without Hope' by Coleridge, which I found to be an excellent poem. I have also read umpteen D.H. Lawrence novels but had never read 'Lizard'. As ever, it's great to discover new material and Poems to Take Home allows you to do just that.

Poems to Take Home can be purchased directly from The Reader Organisation's website for £6 (it's free for GIR members, just ask your facilitator), why not check out our book of poems, short stories and extracts from novels - A Little, Aloud while you're there?

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