Poems That Make Grown Men Cry: 100 Men on the Words That Move Them

Poems That Make Grown Men Cry: 100 Men on the Words That Move Them

Ben Holden

Language: English

Pages: 336

ISBN: 1476712786

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Poems That Make Grown Men Cry: 100 Men on the Words That Move Them

Ben Holden

Language: English

Pages: 336

ISBN: 1476712786

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


A life-enhancing tour through classic and contemporary poems that have made men cry: “The Holdens remind us that you don’t have to be an academic or a postgraduate in creative writing to be moved by verse….It’s plain fun” (The Wall Street Journal).

Grown men aren’t supposed to cry…Yet in this fascinating anthology, one hundred men—distinguished in literature and film, science and architecture, theater and human rights—confess to being moved to tears by poems that continue to haunt them. Although the majority are public figures not prone to crying, here they admit to breaking down, often in words as powerful as the poems themselves.

Their selections include classics by visionaries, such as Walt Whitman, W.H. Auden, and Philip Larkin, as well as modern works by masters, including Billy Collins, Seamus Heaney, Derek Walcott, and poets who span the globe from Pablo Neruda to Rabindranath Tagore. The poems chosen range from the sixteenth century to the twenty-first, with more than a dozen by women, including Mary Oliver, Elizabeth Bishop, and Gwendolyn Brooks. Their themes range from love in its many guises, through mortality and loss, to the beauty and variety of nature. All are moved to tears by the exquisite way a poet captures, in Alexander Pope’s famous phrase, “what oft was thought, but ne’er so well express’d.”

From J.J. Abrams to John le Carré, Salman Rushdie to Jonathan Franzen, Daniel Radcliffe to Nick Cave to Stephen Fry, Stanley Tucci to Colin Firth to the late Christopher Hitchens, this collection delivers private insight into the souls of men whose writing, acting, and thinking are admired around the world. “Everyone who reads this collection will be roused: disturbed by the pain, exalted in the zest for joy given by poets” (Nadine Gordimer, winner of the Nobel Prize for literature).

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slip Of pebbles, – visible wings of silence sown In azure circles, widening as they dip The matrix of the heart, lift down the eye That shrines the quiet lake and swells a tower . . . The commodious, tall decorum of that sky Unseals her earth, and lifts love in its shower. (1932) Harold Bloom (b. 1930) is Sterling Professor of the Humanities at the University of Yale. His many publications include Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human (1998) and The Anatomy of Influence (2011), from

slip Of pebbles, – visible wings of silence sown In azure circles, widening as they dip The matrix of the heart, lift down the eye That shrines the quiet lake and swells a tower . . . The commodious, tall decorum of that sky Unseals her earth, and lifts love in its shower. (1932) Harold Bloom (b. 1930) is Sterling Professor of the Humanities at the University of Yale. His many publications include Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human (1998) and The Anatomy of Influence (2011), from

knows the history of Auden and his poetry will know that this poem refers to an incident that occurred while Auden was a young teacher at a prep school. As someone who went to a prep school myself, I find this poem, for some reason – perhaps because I remember similar summer nights – effortlessly takes me back to my early childhood. Death puts down his book for a second or two and the tear ducts tingle. A Summer Night Out on the lawn I lie in bed, Vega conspicuous overhead In the windless

Terminal 4 at the Madrid–Barajas Airport. His wife Ruth, to whom the poem is addressed, is the chef and food writer who founded London’s River Café. Keys to the Doors ROBIN ROBERTSON (1955– ) MOHSIN HAMID I don’t go looking for poems. I just find them. (Or they find me.) Like the time some fifteen years ago, sitting in a Manhattan subway car, I looked up and saw, as part of a series called ‘Poetry in Motion’, lines about longing by Faiz Ahmed Faiz, a poet from my native city of Lahore, and

cloisters dim, And saw nought lovely but the sky and stars. But thou, my babe! shalt wander like a breeze By lakes and sandy shores, beneath the crags Of ancient mountain, and beneath the clouds, Which image in their bulk both lakes and shores And mountain crags: so shalt thou see and hear The lovely shapes and sounds intelligible Of that eternal language, which thy God Utters, who from eternity doth teach Himself in all, and all things in himself. Great universal Teacher! he shall

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