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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful...
My boyfriend bought me this book as he loved it. I've not really got in to poetry before, and wasn't aware of many poets names or styles etc. This book opened up a new interest for me, and therefore recommend this to everyone else out there.. If anyone is looking for a good gift for someone??
Published on 14 Nov 2007 by Ms. Sc Burton

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Is this poetry?
The inexperienced reader of poetry should avoid this book and it's two sequels lest they be put off of poetry for life. Fully 90% of the writing herein CANNOT, in good conscience, be recognised as poetry, which was once thought to be the zenith of language (before it became politically incorrect to think so at some point in the 20th century). I was only a fraction of the...
Published 3 months ago by Paul Joseph Page


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful..., 14 Nov 2007
By 
This review is from: Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times (Paperback)
My boyfriend bought me this book as he loved it. I've not really got in to poetry before, and wasn't aware of many poets names or styles etc. This book opened up a new interest for me, and therefore recommend this to everyone else out there.. If anyone is looking for a good gift for someone??
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69 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 75,000 People Can't Be Wrong, 2 Nov 2004
This review is from: Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times (Paperback)
It's official - this is rightly the world's best selling poetry anthology.
As an English teacher currently reading a Masters degree in Creative Writing, I would unreservedly recommend this anthology for two main reasons,
(1)It contains an amazing breadth and depth of contemporary poetry that relates to human experience. So much so that it is the ONLY poetry book I have given as presents to friends who profess no interest in poetry whatsoever. If you want know what all the fuss is about this form of writing then this book is best fitted to meet your curiosity.
(2) Editor Neil Astley has cleverly organised the poetry into loose thematic chapters so the reader is able to access (and compare)treatments of subjects close to their heart.
I have over 20 poetry compilations in my library and have read a lot more- this is the best. It has done what I previously thought impossible in toppling Hughes' and Heaney's 'The Rattlebag' off the top spot.
One slight word of caution, 'Staying Alive' unlike 'The Rattlebag'is definitely for an adult readership, in both sensibility and language.
Can't wait for the sequel 'Being Alive'
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poetry's most important anthology... perhaps, 28 Nov 2005
By 
LittleMoon (loving my life in the rain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times (Paperback)
Thank goodness Neil Astley had the vision to put this anthology together. Anybody who cares about poetry should buy this book. It will remind you of the great and good and gone and it will introduce you to a new international generation of stars. I gave this 4 stars (for the quality of poetry) and 1 extra star simply for its glowing intensity whilst world poetry for the most part struggles unread in the darkness.
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68 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent in scope, content and style, 21 July 2002
By 
Graham Mummery (Sevenoaks, Kent England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times (Paperback)
Generally, modern poetry has had a bad press. In a poll a few years ago it came out as "gloomy, elitist and irrelevant". As founder and editor of Bloodaxe Books, Neil Astley is in an ideal position to counteract this.
In this book he succeeds magnificently. Here are "greats" of twentieth century poetry. TS Eliot, WH Auden, Robert Graves, Ezra Pound, Robert Frost Ted Hughes and many more. He also includes many important figures magnificently such as the Czech poet, Miroslav Holub (who was also a scientist), the Polish, Zbignew Herbert, the "German", Rainer Maria Rilke as well as the Chilean Pablo Neruda. There are crucial American poets such as Robert Frost, Elizabeth Bishop and James Wright. Plus established living poets who have established their names. Favourites of mine here include Michael Longley, David Constantine, Michael Donaghy, Robert Bly, Maura Dooley, Pauline Stainer, Sharon Olds as well as names beginning to establish their names such Kona McPhee and Joanne Limburg.
All in all it is a wide-ranging selection. It succeeds in its aim of being life affirming and relevant. Here is poetry on modern language reminding us of eternal truths. Dealing with life in a contemporary setting. Organised in sections with titles as "Body and Soul", "War and Peace", "In and Out of Love" it is very user friendly and can either be dipped into or read through. It is an entertaining read too. If you want a book to get an overview view of modern poetry this is the one. With excellent introductions, a useful glossary of poetic terms and bibliographies to follow up on any poets of interest, this is a marvellous place to start understanding modern poetry or to expand your knowledge. It may even change your life too!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a wonderful anthology, 3 Aug 2010
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This review is from: Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times (Paperback)
This is one of the best poetry anthologies I have come across. It contains 500 poems divided into 12 sections. These sections include Body and Soul,Bittersweet; Me, the earth, the unviverse; and The Art of Poetry + all the other obvious ones ( love, death, animals, journeys.) The great poets are there: Hughes, Plath, Heaney, Larkin, R S Thomas; Elliot but they don't dominate. I believe there is an eqaul blend of male/ female poets and a large inclusion of poems from across Europe..Catalan,Serbo Croat, French to name but a few. Most poems are accessible but Astley has ensured each section contains at least one " challenging" poem. Some poems are deliciously funny..."Puberty" by Mitchell springs to mind..others quite profound.
Each section comes with an introduction giving helpful contexts to some of the poems. The anthology ends with information about forms used by certain poets and there is a glossary of technical terms.
This antholoogy is essentially for new readers of poetry but I would recommend it to anyone embarking on A level English and beyond. Also to anyone interested in reading " real poems" in 2010.
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A revelation, 19 July 2002
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This review is from: Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times (Paperback)
What a wonderful suprise this book has been! I am not normally a fan of modern poetry but after reading the excellent reviews in the national press I decided to give this new anthology a go. Each of the poems in this book have been especially chosen for their ability to stand alone and that makes this a perfect book to leave around the house and dip into. Mine lives on the coffee table and friends and visitors are always dipping in and commenting on one of the marvelous poems within.
The poems are divided into sections like Body and Soul or In and Out of Love, which is great if you approach the book with a particular need, for example, if someone close to you is ill, or if you need to find the words to express a new found love. However, the real beauty of this book is the way the poems talk to one another across the page. Poems on similar subjects, but by different poets, form a dialog between the themselves and allow the reader to contemplate the subject far deeper than if the poem stood alone.
I knew a few of the poets in this volume and have enjoyed some of their classic poems, but even more pleasurable has been discovering the unknown poets who don't make it into the public eye.
What a joy this book has been! Bring culture and conversation to your coffee table now and invest in a copy right away!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful.., 17 July 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times (Paperback)
Although I have always appreciated poetry, I have never been one to sit down and spend an afternoon engrossed in a collection..until 'Staying Alive'. It is crammed with beautiful, moving poems spanning a variety of subjects that all readers will be able to relate to in one way or another.
Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE desert island book - the one everyone, no exception, should choose, 19 April 2011
By 
Ter (Aberdeen) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times (Paperback)
A few years ago, this book, which I picked up in a bargain book sale many years ago gave me something to do when I was sitting at home with my leg in plaster for weeks on end - have to admit it was the darker poems that appealed at the time. That was a while ago now, but recently on a shared family holiday we decided to have a desert island evening for the four adults, mainly concentrating on the music - but it was my wife who chose the perfect book - this one. My own pathetic choice was an encyclopaedia.

The only poets that ever caught my attention before were those of the First World War.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't hesitate - put the money down and take it home with you, 15 Aug 2009
By 
Mr. P. Noakes - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times (Paperback)
This is the best collection of poetry ever. The poems range from the immediately accessible, to poems that will make you think, that you will take with you as you go about your lives. I feel like I want to type out one or two to convince you, so that you will not hesitate, but I can't do that. Two poems I keep coming back to, which are immediately accessible and wonderful in the extreme, are Alden Nowlan's, 'He Sits Down on the Floor of a School for the Retarded', and Eamon Grennan's, 'Detail'. They alone would be worth the entrance fee. Put your money down and make this book yours. Then you will write a review similar to this. Patrick Noakes
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars truly alive, 28 Jan 2008
By 
Katie Craig - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times (Paperback)
a brick packed dense with all that is valuable; thought, beauty, nature, humanity, love, friendship, redemption.

This book is an escape door.
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Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times
Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times by Neil Astley (Paperback - 27 Jun 2002)
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