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Mr. Benjamin N. Read

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The Lives Of The Poets
The Lives Of The Poets
by Michael Schmidt
Edition: Paperback

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it, 26 July 2009
This review is from: The Lives Of The Poets (Paperback)
Not many books make me grab a pencil and write notes in the margin, look up words I don't understand and hilight paragraphs that enlighten me.

After 174 pages I finally succumbed and got my pencil out. The criticism of Phillip Sidney's work on that page struck me with it's brilliance. Schmidt here (for me at least) gets to the heart of Sidney's work, offering an analysis of poetry itself that reaffirms (and indeed deepens) my love for the art form.

A biography, criticism and sampler of most of the English poets to date, I am certain this book will enlighten poetry enthusiasts and give you a fresh insight into poets you already know as well as an introduction to those you don't.

The only caveat I offer is for those who are attempting to gain an introduction to poetry by this volume: start with building an appreciation for the raw form first. Find out whose poetry you like without the burden of criticism and biography. That way you won't stumble at the first hurdle. Try a poetry collection first, such as The Nation's Favourite Poems. This will hopefully whet your appetite.

For those who loved this book I highly recommend the out-of-date but honestly written The Anatomy of Poetry by Marjorie Boulton, for help to appreciate the form and structure of poetry.

Beyond Borders [DVD]
Beyond Borders [DVD]
Dvd ~ Clive Owen
Price: £2.96

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good, 20 Aug. 2004
This review is from: Beyond Borders [DVD] (DVD)
Because this film hasn't been highly advertised in the UK I had never heard of it before seeing the trailer.
It covers ground no other studio would dare - the gritty world of a relief worker who would bend the rules to get aid to the suffering. Refreshingly different.
I really didn't trust Angelina Jolie after Tomb Raider, but she is convincing here.
If you're spending a night in, this is great for entertainment. It's also a movie about the wider issues of humanitarian crisis that are happening in the world today, without being preachy about it.

Impassioned Clay
Impassioned Clay
by Stevie Davies
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impassioned Storytelling, 21 Jun. 2004
This review is from: Impassioned Clay (Paperback)
This intense novel traces the story of a wayward teenager into adulthood, her withdrawl of the world and obsession with the bones of a woman tortured to death in her back garden.
From the minute you pick up this book you'll feel the earthy rebelliousness of its main charachter, it's the sort of book that draws you in like you were staring into an abyss.
I've never read a more meditative study of family, death, grief and ultimate joy.

Scarlet's Walk (Limited Edition)
Scarlet's Walk (Limited Edition)
Offered by all my music
Price: £39.89

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding return to form, 6 Nov. 2002
This is the special edition of Scarlett's Walk. For a little more you get a DVD with two videos including A Sorta Fairytale, which is very quirky and grainy, but really interesting nevertheless and a photo gallery. Also included is a fold-out map, showing (I think) where the songs were composed on a journey around America - it adds a lot more dimension to the album. Also included are a couple of polaroid photos from the same shoot as the video.
I've been more and more worried about Tori since her last two albums seemed to miss the mark a little, overcome by electronics and increasingly depressing, but with Scarlett's Walk Tori is a lot more cheerful. It almost seems like signing to Epic has freed her creativity, and I'm glad to say this album is packed with great songs. At 74 minutes long, you'll probably have to listen to the whole thing several times before you start taking it all in.
My favourite tracks so far include the outstanding "a sorta fairytale" (why was this not a hit in the UK???), Wednesday (which is musically similar to Happy Phantom), Crazy: a suitably melancholy track, Your Cloud and Can't See New York.
Tori, truly an outstanding album. Welcome back.

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