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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moving lines
Perhaps taking its cue from the magnificent, extensive and unpredictable 1992 anthology The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart - subtitled Poems for Men, compiled and edited by Robert Bly and friends - this book is a nicely eclectic mixture of the expected, the fairly well-known, and the downright obscure, the latter being, at least for me, the main draw of this...
Published 11 months ago by GlynLuke

versus
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed some of the poems
None of the poms made any men I know get even close to tears, I enjoyed some of the poems.
Published 8 months ago by PK


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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moving lines, 10 April 2014
By 
GlynLuke (York UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Perhaps taking its cue from the magnificent, extensive and unpredictable 1992 anthology The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart - subtitled Poems for Men, compiled and edited by Robert Bly and friends - this book is a nicely eclectic mixture of the expected, the fairly well-known, and the downright obscure, the latter being, at least for me, the main draw of this well-intentioned anthology.
The format does the book few favours. It`s a little confusing in some cases (except where blatantly obvious) as to who is the poet and who the contributor. There are 100 of the latter, ranging from Dawkins and Rushdie, Daniel Radcliffe and Barry Humphries, to Jeremy Irons and Simon Callow. No, Callow has not, I`m mightily relieved to say, chosen the over-anthologised Funeral Blues by Auden (mercifully, nobody has been so obvious) but rather the same poet`s Lullaby.
Dawkins and Andrew Motion both went for Housman, while before he died Christopher Hitchens plumped for Wilfred Owen. Seamus Heaney, before his more recent death, chose Hardy`s The Voice. Hardy and Houseman figure heavily here, and quite rightly too, Hardy`s famous The Darkling Thrush being an expected but nonetheless welcome inclusion.
Actor Kenneth Branagh has, to my surprise and delight, nominated a passage from Peer Gynt, while there had to be someone who `bucked the rules`, so we get the final section of Joyce`s verbally hungry novel Finnegans Wake.
I`m very glad to see Christopher Logue represented, chosen by veteran Liverpool poet Brian Patten, as he`s in grave danger of neglect.
Rosetti, Tagore, Larkin and Keats, as well as Coleridge`s marvellous Frost at Midnight, are all here, along with much else besides.
One poem I am overjoyed to see here, picked by film director Walter Salles, is Cavafy`s rightly renowned Ithaka, a wonderful poem which is something of an odyssey in itself.
The book`s cover isn`t as eye-catching as it might be, and the whole enterprise, though admirable, sadly tends to look like just one more crowd-pleasing poetry anthology to add to the many similar ones on the market, such as Poetry Please or Poems on the Underground. But it will be a pity if this doesn`t sell a lot of copies - as I believe it will - since so many of the poems nominated by the hundred men who were asked to contribute are genuinely interesting, let alone moving.
Whether you will be moved to tears or not is another matter.
Oh, and there`s one for women being compiled as we speak - not, of course, that this one is only aimed at men.
I was disappointed, though not surprised, that my own `poem that makes this grown man cry` is not here, namely Those Winter Sundays by the American poet Robert Hayden (seek it out, it`s quietly shattering) but there`s enough to interest both the poetry novice and poetry lover.
There are countries (in Eastern Europe, for example) where it is not a particularly novel sight to see someone reading poetry in public, say on a train or bus. It`s a rare sight in Britain, alas. Considering our poetic/literary heritage, that`s such a shame. If this book were to change that, even a little, I`d be the first to applaud.

Yet another poetry anthology...but there are gems galore inside.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth owning a copy to read in private, 6 July 2014
I borrowed this book from my local library, so it won't show up as a purchase. However, having almost finished it I have decided to buy it off Amazon soon, as I would very much like a copy to open from time to time. Well, not all of the poems will make you cry. Some I can't even begin to see why anyone would think of as particularly emotion-inducing. And some I just could not understand, but that is probably just me! But, let me tell you, there were enough that did make me cry, usually chosen by people whose writing I have admired, as a writer myself. And in a funny kind of way I actually enjoyed the cry. So just be careful that you find a quiet, private place to enjoy them, as it is extremely annoying indeed to be in the grip of strong emotion, well stuck into a poem, when some idiot breezily walks in, talking loudly, and stares at you, asking what the matter is as if you've gone mad---as happened to me. Well worth owning a copy. Really good compilation.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 100 Men on the Words That Move Them - Poetry's Greatest Hits, 11 April 2014
By 
Red on Black - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Poems That Make Grown Men Cry: 100 Men on the Words That Move Them (Kindle Edition)
It could be argued that the concept behind this book is at best a rather clever marketing mechanism to get readers to purchase an anthology of poetry when the bookshelves are littered with them (some very much cheaper than this). Anthony Holden has however performed a real service to readers. Granted there are many well known poems present including Shakespearian sonnets, the big hitters of Coleridge, Wordsworth and Shelley plus a good smattering of the brilliance of the Great War poets. But the choices by a range of famous authors, literary figures, celebs and of course the obligatory Stephen Fry deserve the widest possible airing. Holden was encouraged in his task by the eminent Professor John Carey who in a note imbued with solid common sense argued that "It will bring some good poems to public notice and it will stimulate debate about the emotional power of art and how it affects different people," Frankly whether you are a man (a women's volume is to follow) or whether you "cry" is a side show. What is important is the sheer power and grace of these words and verse with their ability to land an emotional punch that completely outmatches any physical equivalent.

In terms of content it is English poets who unsurprisingly dominate proceedings with W H Auden putting in a great showing. In particular he is chosen by Salman Rushdie ("In Memory of W B Yeats"), Simon Schama and Simon Callow ("If I could tell you"), Rowan Williams ("Friday's Child") and William Boyd choosing the glorious beauty "A Summer Night". In addition Hardy, Housemen and Larkin are also well in the frame. It is reassuring to see that the sadly departed and much missed contrarian Christopher Hitchens was able to pick a poem before he died and he choose very well with Wilfred Owens staggering "Dulce et Decorum est". This resonates even more strongly in this 100th Anniversary Year of the outbreak of the Great War and those deeply painful lines chronicling a putrid gas attack speak with more profundity than larger history volumes of the horror encountered. The sheer force of those immortal lines should be etched to memory "If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood, Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud, Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, My friend, you would not tell with such high zest, To children ardent for some desperate glory,The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est, Pro patria mori". Hitchens rightly argues that Owens tragically short life and his four published poems are "the most powerful single rebuttal of Auden's mild and sane claim that "Poetry makes nothing happen". For this reviewer it was also a joy to be reacquainted with Emily Dickinson's short and moving poem in search of closure "After Great Pain" chosen by Douglas Kennedy. The lines "This is the hour of lead, Remembered if outlived, So Freezing persons recollect the Snow - First Chill - the stupor - then the letting go" are hard to read for anyone who has experienced the deep hurt of grief. It was equally a joy to come across poems for the first time not least the John N Morris "For Julia in Deep Water" chosen by Tobias Wolff charting the growth of a child from claw like needing to finally that desolation of letting them go into the wider world.

This review could go on but one final reflection. In the introduction to his choice of Wendell Berry's "A Meeting" the Irish author Colum McCann describes a favourite thing at Christmas-time. "I ask my kids to learn a poem off by heart to "give" to me rather than a pair of socks or yet another scarf" It's my favourite moment of the whole year". It also begs the question why don't we all follow his splendid lead and make this anthology a key source for initiating a new national tradition.

PS - In the spirit of GlynLuke's excellent review above the poem this reviewer would have included is "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The poems here do what all good poems should, 13 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Poems That Make Grown Men Cry: 100 Men on the Words That Move Them (Kindle Edition)
Whilst not moved to tears; it is only the pathos, banality, tragedy and futility of the War Poets that does it for me. The poems here do what all good poems should, bring memories the kind that deliver a punch of return, of moments of life collected and lost. The loneliness of standing, surrounded by friends, at the graveside of a loved one. The words bringing back deeply buried sensations, a long lost touch, a taste, smell sight or sound are in these poems ignited and brought to mind. Poems for me engage the senses as well as the intellect, in this anthology they do.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The familiar and pastures new., 7 Oct. 2014
By 
Bluecashmere. (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
I suspect that we should not take “cry” too literally, though certainly poetry has the power to affect us deeply. Having said that, I recall reading John Silkin’s “Death of a Child” to a class of English students and many ending up moist eyed, myself close enough.

There are some wonderful poems here from the great poets: Wordsworth’s “Surprised By Joy”, Hardy’s “The Voice”, Dylan Thomas’ “Do Not Go Gentle….” “And “Aubade” by Philip Larkin are particular personal favourites. There are other magnificent poems which call up different or more complex emotional responses.

The majority of choices are less familiar, some known not at all. It is difficult to know – and probably doesn’t matter very much – whether some have deep private associations, for it is I think, difficult to divorce the poem entirely from the personal context with which we associate it, or chosen to avoid the roads more often taken. Some I find hard to connect with but it is no doubt good to be confronted by the new and challenging.

Although I dislike this fashion for dividing all by gender as if we were almost separate species – I’m told a women’s equivalent is about to appear – any fresh anthology seasoned with the allure of assured successes might bring the joys of poetry to more people, and on this ground alone the anthology is to be welcomed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book, 3 July 2014
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Lovely book of mainly classic poems, with reasons why they were chosen. Not overly sentimental but interesting and the poems are those you like to recall but can't quite remember the author or title. Nice addition to the bookshelf.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And grown women!, 11 Jun. 2014
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Heard about this book on Radio 2 (Jezza Vine, Steve Wright or Simon Mayo - can't remember which) and thought I'd buy it. So glad I did. An excellent Anthology.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not for the hard hearted nor Alpha Male, 24 Oct. 2014
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A fantastic book for even the most "unpoetic" of us. The poems do exactly what it says on the tin and the small reviews/explanations/reasons written immediately before the poems gives each poems a special and specific resonance.
The chosen 100 men are well chosen and not at all artyfarty but candid in their appreciation of the poems and the effect it has on them..and there are quite a few very welcomed surprises....and equally as many tears. Not an anthology for the hard hearted nor for the deluded Alpha Male.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Exceptional Collection of Poems, 26 April 2014
By 
G. Wright "Bluesman" (Hampshire UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Poems That Make Grown Men Cry: 100 Men on the Words That Move Them (Kindle Edition)
A unique collection of poems that I found inspirational on an intellectual and emotional level . As a novice in terms poetry appreciation and writing , there is much to absorb and learn and subject matter I can relate to personally. Strongly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book, 28 May 2014
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I bought this book for my husband for his birthday who is a 'poetry' enthusiast and he loves it.....don't think he's cried yet though!!
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