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Poetry by Heart: A Treasury of Poems to Read Aloud

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Familiar poems and almost unknown poems. Love poems and war poems. Funny poems and heartbroken poems. Poems that re-create the world we know and poems written on the dark side of the moon. Poetry by Heart is an essential collection of over 200 poems, from Geoffrey Chaucer to Emily Dickinson, from Christina Rossetti to Benjamin Zephaniah, all carefully chosen for their suita Familiar poems and almost unknown poems. Love poems and war poems. Funny poems and heartbroken poems. Poems that re-create the world we know and poems written on the dark side of the moon. Poetry by Heart is an essential collection of over 200 poems, from Geoffrey Chaucer to Emily Dickinson, from Christina Rossetti to Benjamin Zephaniah, all carefully chosen for their suitability for learning and reciting. This is an anthology which celebrates the age-old pleasure of reciting poems - an anthology for all ages to treasure.


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Familiar poems and almost unknown poems. Love poems and war poems. Funny poems and heartbroken poems. Poems that re-create the world we know and poems written on the dark side of the moon. Poetry by Heart is an essential collection of over 200 poems, from Geoffrey Chaucer to Emily Dickinson, from Christina Rossetti to Benjamin Zephaniah, all carefully chosen for their suita Familiar poems and almost unknown poems. Love poems and war poems. Funny poems and heartbroken poems. Poems that re-create the world we know and poems written on the dark side of the moon. Poetry by Heart is an essential collection of over 200 poems, from Geoffrey Chaucer to Emily Dickinson, from Christina Rossetti to Benjamin Zephaniah, all carefully chosen for their suitability for learning and reciting. This is an anthology which celebrates the age-old pleasure of reciting poems - an anthology for all ages to treasure.

30 review for Poetry by Heart: A Treasury of Poems to Read Aloud

  1. 4 out of 5

    WhatIReallyRead

    BEST. POETRY. COLLECTION. EVER. I bought Poetry by Heart on a whim when browsing a local bookstore. And it turned out to be a great decision! It now has so many bookmarks in it it's not even funny! The book starts with an itroduction explaining the backstory of this collection. Apparently some poets got together and decided to revive the dying art of reciting poems from memory. So they selected 200 poems - starting with Middle Ages and through to the modern times - and set up a competition in Bri BEST. POETRY. COLLECTION. EVER. I bought Poetry by Heart on a whim when browsing a local bookstore. And it turned out to be a great decision! It now has so many bookmarks in it it's not even funny! The book starts with an itroduction explaining the backstory of this collection. Apparently some poets got together and decided to revive the dying art of reciting poems from memory. So they selected 200 poems - starting with Middle Ages and through to the modern times - and set up a competition in British schools where kids recite them. There's a national final at the end. For this experience to be educational as well, they set up additional resources. Like a website where you can learn all about the poem and it's author, and hear poets (and sometimes even the authors) reading these poems aloud. This book is a printed verion of this selection of poems and the educational info. It's a pretty big book - about 550 pages total. The poems themselves take up 326 pages, the rest is commentary. The poems are arranged in a chronological order, so you can realy trace how poetry itself evolved, the way poets influenced each other and the popularity of styles and techniques ebbed. So half of the book is this amazing collection of poems. No more than 1 poem per author. I saw a lot of familiar authors in this book - like Geoffrey Chaucer, John Donne, Shakespeare, John Milton, William Blake, Robert Burns, Wordsworth, Keats, Byron, the Brownings, Dickinson, Carroll, Oscar Wilde, Kipling, Robert Frost, Yeats, T.S. Eliot, Auden, Plath, etc. Their featured poems were mostly unfamiliar to me. So it's not like they anthologized the same poems everyone already knows. There were also a lot of lovely poets I first discovered here. The modern poets (after Plath) were almost completely new to me, but there were many classical ones I haven't heard of before, too. The second half of the book is educational info about those poems. Each poem had a page dedicated to it - with sections "about the poem" and "about the poet" and a QR-code which leads you to a recordig of this poem being recited. It looks like this: And I must tell you, it's absolutely brilliant! It's the best!!! First off, I've been out of school long enough to be nostalgic about this faintly textbook-ish feeling, of someone gently trying to educate and inspire me while not being overbearing. Secondly, it enhanced my reading experience VERY much. The "about the poem" section had commentary about both the contents, meaning and background of the poem, and also about the technique, style, ryme scheme of it. English is my third language, and poems can be pretty obscure. There were a lot of poems I initially "didn't get", and this section really helped! There were questions there, too. So the commentator doesn't claim to have all the definitive answers. The "about the poet" section was very interesting as well, containing some biographical data, which a lot of the times contributed to my amazement and helped my ignorance. Some of these poets were really amazing! Like: - Aphra Behn was both the first female author to make her living through writing AND she was a spy for the British crown! How cool is that?! - did you know Robert Burns was a ploughman?! I'm pretty sure you did, but I didn't. So my mind was blown. Now imagine reading this beautiful poem: My prime of youth is but a frost of cares, My feast of joy is but a dish of pain, My crop of corn is but a field of tares, And all my good is but vain hope of gain. The day is gone and yet I saw no sun, And now I live, and now my life is done. The spring is past, and yet it hath not sprung, The fruit is dead, and yet the leaves are green, My youth is gone, and yet I am but young, I saw the world, and yet I was not seen, My thread is cut, and yet it was not spun, And now I live, and now my life is done. I sought my death and found it in my womb, I lookt for life and saw it was a shade, I trode the earth and knew it was my tomb, And now I die, and now I am but made. The glass is full, and now the glass is run, And now I live, and now my life is done. and flipping to the end of the book to find out that the author wrote it while awaiting his execution for a conspiracy to assasinate Elizabeth I. And the poem survived because he included it in his final letter to his wife. I mean... WOW. I HAVE NO WORDS. Now imagine reading just the poem. It's still really good, but it's not quite the same. I took my time reading Poetry by Heart because I enjoyed it so. I actually read most of the poems aloud, some of them dozens of times, then flipped to the back of the book for commentary. So it took me almost 2 months. I had the best time and it's going straight to my favorites shelf!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Judith Johnson

    I worked for some years at an independent boarding school, founded in 1924 by three young female teachers who wanted to give an education that was a bit more relaxed than Wycombe Abbey, a ‘blue-stocking’ school where they had previously been employed. Their intake over time included the daughters of Enid Blyton and Agatha Christie. They had very few strict rules, rather using trust than the rod to keep their pupils on the straight and narrow, and one of the hardest detentions which could be hand I worked for some years at an independent boarding school, founded in 1924 by three young female teachers who wanted to give an education that was a bit more relaxed than Wycombe Abbey, a ‘blue-stocking’ school where they had previously been employed. Their intake over time included the daughters of Enid Blyton and Agatha Christie. They had very few strict rules, rather using trust than the rod to keep their pupils on the straight and narrow, and one of the hardest detentions which could be handed out by prefects was to learn a poem by heart. As alumni officer, I had the pleasure of meeting a number of elderly ladies who had been naughty girls at school, and who had benefited all their lives from the storehouse of poems thus accumulated! This stunning anthology is linked to a scheme initiated in 2011 for secondary school aged pupils to enter a competition involving reading a poem aloud. It’s full of wonderful poets which I had never heard of, and I feel really grateful to the editors, Julie Blake, Mike Dixon, Andrew Motion and Jean Sprackland, for putting it together, and for the informative suggested interpretations and poet mini-biogs given at the back. Highly recommended!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sophie Crane

    It's Not just children’s poems. Really enjoyed and great value as second-hand book. It's Not just children’s poems. Really enjoyed and great value as second-hand book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    This is a great book I am grateful to receive from Penguin in Goodreads giveaway. As it is very much a book to be dipped into over time, I am reviewing without reading all 200 poems. I have heard some of the winning pupils read poems(very impressively) on radio Four from the Poetry by Heart competition, which this book is allied to. I am well past school age, but this collection will appeal to all who love anthologies of poetry. That they have been chosen for their suitability to be read aloud i This is a great book I am grateful to receive from Penguin in Goodreads giveaway. As it is very much a book to be dipped into over time, I am reviewing without reading all 200 poems. I have heard some of the winning pupils read poems(very impressively) on radio Four from the Poetry by Heart competition, which this book is allied to. I am well past school age, but this collection will appeal to all who love anthologies of poetry. That they have been chosen for their suitability to be read aloud is appealing, and each poem has a corresponding small section if you want thought on the meanings of some of the verses or images. Of course not all poems will appeal but there is a wide variety. For a treat I listen online to a favourite poem being read, this book will encourage you to read to yourself or to others, or use the scan links to recordings of the poems being read,sometimes by the poet for more recent poems. There is no list of poets, which I would have liked, only first lines and is quite bulky but has an attractive cover and a great deal of thought has been put into the project.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

    I wish I'd realised that there was notes on the poems and poets when I started reading this collection because somehow I think that might have made it a more satisfying read? Maybe if the notes were arranged after the poems? I don't know. I just think the layout was a bit clunky in this particular form. Interesting content though. And I'm a sucker for a pretty cover. I wish I'd realised that there was notes on the poems and poets when I started reading this collection because somehow I think that might have made it a more satisfying read? Maybe if the notes were arranged after the poems? I don't know. I just think the layout was a bit clunky in this particular form. Interesting content though. And I'm a sucker for a pretty cover.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    It was wonderful.

  7. 5 out of 5

    O.Temple

    Oh what a perfect way to spend a rainy day! I've long desired to get back into poetry, and this book has very much recaptured my love of of it. Before you start this book there are 2 things you should know: 1 - At the back of the book there is brief commentary on each poem, as well as a bit of background on the poet (This is not made so clear at the front) 2 - The newer poems have QR codes that take you to a recorded reading and explanation. Now, admittedly I've only tried this twice! The first tim Oh what a perfect way to spend a rainy day! I've long desired to get back into poetry, and this book has very much recaptured my love of of it. Before you start this book there are 2 things you should know: 1 - At the back of the book there is brief commentary on each poem, as well as a bit of background on the poet (This is not made so clear at the front) 2 - The newer poems have QR codes that take you to a recorded reading and explanation. Now, admittedly I've only tried this twice! The first time I got a file error code, the 2nd time it took me to the correct audio. It's a shame the QR code is on the inside of the page leaf, so not as easy if it had been on the right, but this is pretty pernickety of me to say so (!) I do love a pretty book cover, and it has a nice velvety matte feel to it. I also appreciate where the original language has been kept for some of the older poems. And where the language is too old, a modern translation is provided afterwards. If, like me, you're looking to jump back into the enjoyment of poetry, this is definitely one to have on your shelf. The poems are not too long either, there's a good range of selection. Overall, a very professional product that I feel very fortunate to have come across!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Katrina Sark

    p.68-69 – Mary Robinson, “Female Fashions for 1799” A FORM, as any taper, fine; A head like half-print bason; Where golden cords, and bands entwine, As rich as fleece of JASON. A pair of shoulders strong and wide, Like country clown enlisting; Bare arms long dangling by the side, And shows of ragged listing! Cravats like towels, thick and broad, Long tippets made of bear-skin, Muffs that a RUSSIAN might applaud, And rouge to spoil a fair skin. Long petticoats to hide the feet, Silk hose with clocks p.68-69 – Mary Robinson, “Female Fashions for 1799” A FORM, as any taper, fine; A head like half-print bason; Where golden cords, and bands entwine, As rich as fleece of JASON. A pair of shoulders strong and wide, Like country clown enlisting; Bare arms long dangling by the side, And shows of ragged listing! Cravats like towels, thick and broad, Long tippets made of bear-skin, Muffs that a RUSSIAN might applaud, And rouge to spoil a fair skin. Long petticoats to hide the feet, Silk hose with clocks of scarlet; A load of perfume, sickening sweet, Bought of PARISIAN VARLET. A bush of hair, the brow to shade, Sometimes the eyes to cover; A necklace that might be displayed By OTAHEITEAN lover! A bowl of straw to deck the head, Like porringer unmeaning; A bunch of POPPIES flaming red, With motly ribands streaming. Bare ears on either side the head, Like wood-wild savage SATYR; Tinted with deep vermillion red, To shame the blush of nature. Red elbows, gauzy gloves, that add An icy covering merely; A wadded coat, the shape to pad, Like Dutch-women – or nearly. Such is CAPRICE! But lovely kind! Oh! Let each mental feature Proclaim the labour of the mind, And leave your charms to NATURE.

  9. 5 out of 5

    George Eraclides

    As the title suggests, this is a selection of poems which are part of a schools' competition, to be memorised and recited. An excellent idea and I would like to see a popular TV station in Australia try it out. Of course, all true poetry should be read out loud, recited, in order for the rhythmic sounds, pattern of metre and so on, to be heard clearly. Poetry has form, it is musical; it is not just chopped-up prose as much of today's poetry I read/recite actually is. Please, if you cannot master As the title suggests, this is a selection of poems which are part of a schools' competition, to be memorised and recited. An excellent idea and I would like to see a popular TV station in Australia try it out. Of course, all true poetry should be read out loud, recited, in order for the rhythmic sounds, pattern of metre and so on, to be heard clearly. Poetry has form, it is musical; it is not just chopped-up prose as much of today's poetry I read/recite actually is. Please, if you cannot master the basics of poetic form, just write prose and call it - prose. There are some fine selections and some unfamiliar gems in this collection. A useful feature is that each poem has an entry in an extensive appendix, discussing the poem and the poet's background. If you enjoy poetry, give this volume a try. See if you can memorise the poems and recite them properly. Good for your mind. Keeps it young(ish). And it is a lot of fun.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mxj

    I bought this book just because, not knowing what to expect but was all BUT disappointed ! There is a lot of different poems/poets from a lot of periods, so you'll definitely find something you love :) (as the name suggests, i recommend you read this aloud it makes it even more beautiful) Plus, there is a whole part of the book that contains explanation and information about the poems if you want to learn more ! I bought this book just because, not knowing what to expect but was all BUT disappointed ! There is a lot of different poems/poets from a lot of periods, so you'll definitely find something you love :) (as the name suggests, i recommend you read this aloud it makes it even more beautiful) Plus, there is a whole part of the book that contains explanation and information about the poems if you want to learn more !

  11. 5 out of 5

    Joy Davenport

    Read over the course of two weeks to curate collection for 7th grade poetry project.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Grech

    A range of interesting poems.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Fleur

    3.5. In short, I’d say, yes. But also… no. Just… more yes than no, you know?

  14. 4 out of 5

    Karen Davies

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mirjam

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

  17. 4 out of 5

    Margaux Lorenzini

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

  19. 5 out of 5

    Peter Gunary

  20. 5 out of 5

    Warda

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jing

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sunshine Kwok

  23. 4 out of 5

    nana

  24. 4 out of 5

    jam

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jana

  26. 4 out of 5

    Emily Stephenson

  27. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  28. 4 out of 5

    Josephine Linnane

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rhia

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alison

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