The beautiful matt cover of this book was what first caught my attention, but within is a wonderful collection of poems which I know will keep me company for a very long time. Reid describes one task of poetry as 'to speak to the part of the imagination that is susceptible to the patterning of sounds' and he has chosen the 101 poems in this collection for their musical quality and the pleasure that comes from hearing them read out loud.
The collection is eclectic ranging from Thomas Campion and William Cornish in the sixteenth century to contemporary poets such as Carol Ann Duffy and Paul Muldoon. The poems are not ranged chronologically but rather in such an order 'that would allow them to keep up a purposeful argument among themselves'; thus 'Kubla Khan' is followed by Yeats's 'Byzantium' and Christopher Smart's long liturgical 'For I will consider my Cat Jeoffrey' precedes William Carlos Williams's spare 'Poem' which also has a feline theme.
The poems are simply presented with occasional glosses, and at the end of the book are some brief notes on the individual poems ('jottings, asides, hints, as to what to watch out for, signals towards clearer understanding').