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The Nation's Favourite Poems [Paperback]

Griff Rhys Jones
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 5.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

19 Sep 1996
In a nationwide poll to discover Britain's favourite poem, Rudyard Kipling's 'If...' was voted number one. This unique anthology brings together the results of the poll in a collection of the nation's 100 best loved poems. Among the selection are popular classics such as Tennyson's 'The Lady of Shallott' and Wordsworth's 'The Daffodils' alongside contemporary poetry such as Allan Ahlberg's 'Please Mrs Butler' and Jenny Joseph's 'Warning'. Also included is the poignant 'Do not Stand at my Grave and Weep'.

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The Nation's Favourite Poems + Penguin's Poems for Life (Penguin Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books; 1st. Edition edition (19 Sep 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0563387823
  • ISBN-13: 978-0563387824
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 14.8 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,125 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

The Nation's Favourite Poems, reprinted many times over since it was first published by BBC Worldwide Books in 1996, is an uplifting and inspiringly varied collection of great poems.The late, lamented Auberon Waugh called it "the best popular anthology ever printed in Britain."

Poetry anthologies abound, in infinite variety. Themed volumes range in usefulness, from time to place, to subject. But aside from containing the odd classic and a few modern masterpieces, the remainder is often there because it fits the description and not necessarily because it is great poetry. How wonderful then to read a poetry anthology where every poem, without exception, is worth reading and, more importantly with poetry, worth keeping on your bookshelves to read again and again.

The book is based on the result of a poll conducted in 1995 by The Bookworm, to coincide with National Poetry Day. And an eclectic collection it is, with the heavyweights, Shakespeare, Marlowe, Marvell and Wordsworth, rubbing shoulders with their latter-day counterparts, Larkin, Hughes, Heaney and McGough. Romantics are well served with Yeats, Keats, Tennyson and Shelley. Elizabeth Barrett Browning's "How Do I Love Thee" is here, as is Christina Rossetti¹s "Remember." The Great British Public shows its lighter side, with "The Owl and the Pussycat," "Jabberwocky," "Macavity: the Mystery Cat" and children's favourite, Allan Ahlberg's "Please Mrs Butler." But it commemorates the horrors of the century too, with the war poets, Wilfred Owen and Rupert Brooke.

And the Nation's Favourite? Well, as this is no novel with a surprise ending to give away, Rudyard Kipling's "If" received twice as many votes as the runner-up, Tennyson's "The Lady of Shalott." There are 98 other poems to savour here, so if Kipling's not your style, try Stevie Smith or Jenny Joseph.

At any price, this is a must-have poetry anthology. Buy a copy for everyone you know with a birthday this year. And don't forget yourself!--Carey Green

Book Description

An anthology of inspirational, poignant and funny poems, both old and new, as voted for by the British public

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
60 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic 26 Feb 2003
This book is a sheer delight with poems to suit every taste from the traditional 'Daffodils' to the more contemporary 'When I Am An Old Woman'. You'll find poems to move you and poems to make you laugh, poems that you will remember from schooldays and poems you've never read before. This is a book to dip in and out of as the whim takes you. A 'must have' on any poetry lovers bookshelf.
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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nations Favorite Poems 23 Aug 2003
I bought this after participating in an acting course where one of the criteria was to bring along a poem. I hated poems at school and certainly had no interest in them after leaving. However, after purchasing this book and finding a new appreciation for poems I was surprised to find myself dipping in to the book when a quite moment arose and to find that I knew some of the poems such as "If" and "Chocolate Cake". It also kept the in-laws (whom were already into poetry) busy for a while, when they came over to visit. This is a great book for all degrees of appreciation.
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 21 Nov 1999
Remember all those scraps of favorite poetry from school-days? They're all here, plus a few more of everyone else's favorites, which you'll probably love too. The kind of anthology you can dip into anywhere, and find something to raise a smile or provoke thought.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you enjoyed the tv series you will love this 13 Oct 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Brought this after watching the BBC series. There is a forward by G R Jones which is interesting and which acknowledges the Unknown Soldier poem (do not stand by my grave and weep).

They are in order of most votes so Rudyard Kiplings 'If' is number 1. Also there is a first line and author index at the back. This is really helpful because sometimes you just cant place your favourite.

This is a very well worn copy, I have read a few to my kids, and am very proud that they can recite Leisure, Tyger, Daffodils. I also brought Nation favourite love poems and poems of childhood but this is by far my favourite. The audio version is also very good and features John Nettles and is well worth considering.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Anthology 30 April 2009
First of all this is an excellent collection of some of our greatest poets and their poetry. This book offers the top 100 poems from a poll conducted to find the nation's favourite. Although the number one choice, `If...' by Rudyard Kipling, isn't my choice it's still a great poem and there are some of my favourite poets in there including Blake, Keats and Byron.

I believe there is also a commentary available for the collection which has Bergerac (John Nettles) reading some of the poems. If you like this then you will probably like `The Nation's Favourite Comic Poems'.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Nation's Favourite Poems 31 Oct 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
All the old favourites I remember from school, and many others that are now new favourites. A wonderful read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A National Gem! 28 Nov 2009
Nowhere else can you have a collection of most of the greatest poems ever written. This is a poem lover's 'must have'.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic! 9 Nov 2006
A classic collection of some of the best poems ever written in one thoroughly enjoyable book. All the biggest names and titles from the world of poetry are there, making this a colection with a poem for every mood and occasion.

Whether you want to stretch your mind, provoke your thoughts, or merely delight in the composition of some exquisite works of words, I'm sure you will enjoy this!

Declan Mullan.
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