14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: A Poet's Guide to Britain (Poetry Anthology) (Paperback)
This is not 'the book of the TV series', but a complementary anthology. If you want to see the televised series, do purchase the excellent DVD: the care with which Sheers put together the stories behind each poem in that series was impressive, as was the creativity he brought to presenting the visual, literary and historical clues to an understanding of content, style and context of each of the six poems featured. It would be good to see a commentary to accompany that series, also, to provide greater depth to the insights concerned and to see together in one place the well-chosen verse contributions of living poets such as Simon Armitage. However, this anthology of 200 poems is a remarkable achievement in its own right, grouping poems thoughtfully into themes such as 'mountains and moorlands', 'islands, 'woods and forests' and 'coast and sea', while beginning right at the capital itself (and other cities) and followed by several affecting poems on towns and villages. The poem that introduces each section was one of the six poems featured in the televised series. What is distinctive about the collection is the panorama of contemporary British poetry that Sheers provides us with, alongside the pre-Second World War classics and the later 20th century 'moderns'. This is not a simple assembly of 'favourite poems' but a cornucopia of much of the best in poetic responses to the distinctive moods and presences of the British scene.