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Penguin's Poems for Life (Penguin Classics) Paperback – 25 Sep 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (25 Sept. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140424709
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140424706
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Laura Barber is former editorial director for Penguin Classics and now publishes contemporary literature. She lives in London.


Laura Barber is former editorial director for Penguin Classics and now publishes contemporary literature. She lives in London.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This wonderfully organized collection of poems takes you through life from birth through childhoold, first love, marriage, parenthood, growing old, dying and mourning. And what's particularly appealing about it is the selection of poems - yes, you'll find many old favourites but also appropriate contemporary poems. It's a wonderful gift for a friend, lover or relative - anyone who loves poetry. Perhaps most important of all it's beautifully bound in cloth, with a ribbon marker, generously typeset and a pleasure to hold.
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Format: Paperback
I was asked by a friend abroad to find some English poems suitable for children in the 8-12 age group. He was recalling the stuff in our old primary school readers,e.g. Tennyson, Scott, Rosetti, etc.
In this unassuming volume I think I have found many poems suitable for that age group. But yet so much more for those of us who are older.
This volume selects around 360 poems from over 100 poets who wrote in English. The poems are grouped to match the different phases (and related concerns) of life from birth to death.
There are poems in this from many well-known poets through the ages from Chaucer to Plath. There are also several less-well known poets included.

Clearly, this type of anthology was well thought out from both the literary and the marketing point of view. This collection will sell well because of its providing a diverse variety of touching verse for all ages. But it will also stimulate new demand for the work of many of the more forgotten (if not totally unknown to some of us!) poets selected in it.

Ms Barber guides a motley group of readers through the foggier ridges of thought towards the fertile valley of shared emotion.
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Format: Hardcover
Bought this book for a friend's big birthday as she is an avid poetry reader. Every time we talk she has to tell me about another poem in the book that is wonderful. I think I will now buy the book for myself as she seems to really enjoy it. A wide selection of modern and old poems.
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Format: Hardcover
What an absolute gem of a book! I bought this for an elderly friend's birthday as it seemed appropriate and how right I was - poems that reflect each stage of life from the cradle onwards. Dipping in I found old favourites along with lesser known poems;celebrated classics and lighter hearted verses. I shall, no doubt, be buying more copies.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Yet another kindle poetry book without an index - frustrating and a complete waste of time and money.

If you enjoy poetry and use kindle, be aware that many books have no index or table of contents, and while this may be acceptable for a novel it makes a poetry anthology or an instruction manual worthless.

I have given this no stars at all, but find it insists on at least one. It is not worth one.
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Format: Paperback
I love this poetry anthology. Especially the section on 'getting older' but that's just me! The book is divided into eight sections with each section concerned with a period in life from 'Birth and Beginnings' through childhood, falling in love, all the way to 'Mourning and Monuments'. I find myself browsing at random, looking for favourite poems or poets or simply picking a section and reading through it. This book would make an ideal gift for any age.
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Format: Paperback
Wonderful 'dip-in' reading. Who could ever tire of this collection?

On page 184 I discovered with delight Adrian Mitchell's poem beginning
"They Tuck you up your Mum and Dad
And read you Peter Rabbit too........."

(The Larkin original is on the preceding page. Perfect!)

I originally bought Poems for Life for a friend, but had to get my own copy.
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Format: Hardcover
I was so pleased with this book that I immediately ordered one for my friend's birthday. When choosing the book I found the facility to look inside particularly helpful. Amazon service and delivery excellent as always - Thank you
Stephanie Seager
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