The World’s Wife – Carol Ann Duffy
Carol Ann Duffy is an incredibly talented writer and was appointed Britain’s Poet Laureate in May 2009. This particular anthology is focused on the under appreciated women in literacy. The most intense storms are named after women and so are the intense and devastating poems in this anthology. They are filled with personality, imagination and the witty voice of their author. Among my favorites are Salome and Medusa.
Behind every great man there’s a great woman!
Listener – Lemn Sissay
Another really phenomenal anthology. Lemn Sissay’s work is dynamic, rhythmic and made to be spoken allowed. His really flowing, fast paced poems, such as The Actor’s Voice and Some Things I Like, have a really great beat and roll off the tongue. They are offset with creatively laid out poems such as Rain and even Gambian Holiday Maker, which are both succinct and formed of only a few words and letters yet have a lot to say.
Sissay brilliantly communicates thoughts and feelings in a way that not many other people can.
Six Poets Hardy to Larkin – Alan Bennett
Contains poems by Thomas Hardy, A. E. Housman, John Betjeman, W. H. Auden, Louis MacNeice and Philip Larkin.
Throughout this anthology are little snippets of information about the people behind the lyrical words. Bennett comments on the motivation behind the writing of the piece and, at one point, about Thomas Hardy’s slightly worrying obsession with graves! These little snippets really made this anthology special to me and I enjoyed the poems even more with the context behind them.
Milk and Honey – Rupi Kaur
I’ve got a complex relationship with this anthology. Kaur tackles some painful and potentially triggering experiences, especially those regarding child abuse and domestic violence. Overall I found it excruciatingly beautiful. It is topped off with her down to earth views on respect and body image.
Kaur writes with a forward thinking attitude and a simplicity that drives me wild. Other’s have tried to recreate this exceptionally honest style, for example in The Princess Saves Herself In This One, but none have succeeded. One of a kind.
Il Giardino – Vita Sackville West
This anthology I am very fond of, and not just because I bought it after a tour of West’s stunning walled garden at Sissinghurst Castle. There is a particular section that calls me in Winter, where she talks about being alone and the difference between abandonment and a blissful solitude. The entirety of this vivid anthology is written in floral metaphors and the imagery is so sharp and clear. By the end you feel like you’ve sat in a serene garden, alone with your thoughts, for an entire year. It’s a breath of fresh air and great at clearing your mind of trivial everyday worries.