The true university these days is a collection of books.
-Thomas Carlyle

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Short and Sweet - 101 very short poems

I bought this book a while ago from a bookshop in Oxford. It is perfect for dipping into, and I do so, often. No poem is more than 13 lines long and the poets (and the poems) are wide and varied, from William Wordsworth and Thomas Hardy, to Stevie Smith and Sylvia Plath. The introduction by Simon Armitage is funny and entertaining and it is a lovely addition to any bookshelf. It is published by Faber and Faber. One of my favourite poems from this book is written below...

Second Marriage

The sky stops crying and in a sudden smile
Of childish sunshine the rain steams on the roofs;
Widow who has married widower
Poses outside the Registry for photographs.

Their grown up children are there
And damp confetti like a burst from a bag
Accumulated from a morning's marriages
Is second-hand for them against the door.

In the wood of the world where neither of them is lost
They take each other by the hand politely;
Borrowers going to and from the Library
Pass through the group as if it were a ghost.

Stanley Cook (1922-1991)

Here is a link to read an essay about Stanley Cook's work:-

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