New Read: Best-Loved Poems

Best Loved Poems

While my continuing aim for 2013 has been to read more non-fiction before this year I was keen to read more poetry. I am happy to inform you so far this year I have made excellent progress on reading more non-fiction while sadly my poetry reading seems to have fallen by the way side. I spotted Best-Loved Poems this lovely collection of poetry edited by Neil Philip and beautifully illustrated by Isabella Brent being offered for a bargain price, and I thought it could be a great way to get me back into poetry reading.

Best-Loved Poems is a collection consisting of the poems of over a hundred different poets which Philip has arranged into nine chapters. These chapters are Of Childhood and Youth, Of Love and Marriage, Of Life, Of Loss and Comfort, Of War and Peace, To Read Aloud, To Read Quietly, Of Animals and Nature, and Of Magic and Mystery. I thought these were great chapters to break the collection into making it really easy for the reader to search for poems for a re-read. The chapters I enjoyed the most were  Of Animals and Nature, and Of Magic and Mystery as they seem to suit my taste the most. While the chapter Of War and Peace I thought was very moving.

Some of those hundred plus poets included some of my favourites: William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Rudyard Kipling, William Wordsworth, and Lewis Carroll. There was also new to me poets that I enjoyed which included: W J Turner, Cecil Frances Alexander, John Keats, Walt Whitman, Dylan Thomas, and Robert Browning. Although I had heard of some of these names and some of their poems I didn’t before know they necessarily went together.

In Best-Loved Poems Philip has created a wonderful collection which was enjoyable to read straight through but also I can imagine it is going to be a collection I return to dip in and out of in the future. Especially as the choice of chapters are perfect to help a reader find poems to suit their particular mood at the time. I must also mention Brent’s beautiful illustrations with their bright colours and lashings of gold leaf I felt like I was reading a medieval manuscript which made everything feel even more special.

Best-Loved Poems is a beautiful collection that I intend to treasure. I highly recommend to those readers who enjoy poetry. Hopefully this will re-ignite my poetry reading this year.

Do you enjoy reading poetry?