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Ten Poems to Last a Lifetime Hardcover – October 26, 2004

4.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* The outstanding achievement of popular inspirational writer Housden's Ten Poems books (see also Ten Poems to Set You Free [BKL D 1 03] and Ten Poems That Open Your Heart [BKL Ja 1 & 15 03]) is that they present poets and poetry that most of his usual audience will embrace but might never otherwise encounter. He finds a poem by former cook, maid, and gas station manager Dorianne Laux, "For the Sake of Strangers," about how the kindness of strangers keeps her from stepping off the edge of despair, and after it he tells his own story about a trek through the Sinai desert; so doing, he lifts the poem, already powerful on its own, to a higher level of meaning. He repeats the procedure with a rich variety of poets, from Keats to Naomi Shihab Nye, from sixth-century Buddhist poet Seng-Ts'an to Mary Oliver, offering enriching tastes of their best work and, with his subsequent impressions, priming his readers to plumb themselves for their own interpretations of the poems. What better method is there for sharing the love of an art form? Donna Chavez
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Roger Housden, a native of Bath, England, emigrated to the United States in 1998 and now lives in New York City. He is the author of Ten Poems to Change Your Life, Ten Poems to Open Your Heart, and Ten Poems to Set You Free, and editor of Risking Everything: 110 Poems of Love and Revelation. You can e-mail him at tenpoems@juno.com.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; First Edition first Printing edition (October 26, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400051134
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400051137
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.7 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #185,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Roger Housden grew up in St.Catherine's Valley, a cleft in the Cotswolds on the edge of Bath, in England. He has led contemplative journeys all over the world, and in an earlier life was a freelance feature writer for The Guardian newspaper and an interviewer for the BBC. He has been a full-time author since 1997.

He is the author of twenty books on poetry, art, and travel,including the bestselling Ten Poems series which started in 2001 with Ten Poems to Change Your Life. His next book, due to be published by Sounds True in March 2014,is called Keeping the Faith Without a Religion. Roger emigrated to the United States in 1998 and now lives in Marin County, California.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Roger Housden uses a unique format: he chose 11 superb poems, and followed each by his own commentary and fascinating anecdotes. In addition to offering works by famous poets, such as Billy Collins, John Keats, and Mary Oliver, he introduces readers to the marvelous poetry of relatively obscure modern poets. Dorianne Laux once thought of taking her own life but was kept alive by the kindness of strangers: "A woman holds the glass door open, waits patiently for my empty body to pass through.... a retarded child who lifts his almond eyes and smiles. Somehow they always find me, seem even to be waiting..." And then there is Naomi Shihab Nye stating, "Know you could tumble any second. Then decide what to do with your time."

What could be truer than that?

Each poem is a small but mighty message in this power-packed 185-page little volume that deserves a place on your bedside table, or to be read, like the great now-deceased James Wright's poem, in a hammock where "the cowbells follow one another into the distances of the afternoon."
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Format: Hardcover
I'm not one to read poetry (I have to read it for an English class), but this book makes poetry enlightening, fun, evocative and heart touching. I have a few favorite poems now. It's also nice to have commentary to read, just in case you didn't understand something written by the poem's original author. This is a sweet book.

There's actually 11 poems (don't you just love bonus material):
My Life - Billy Collins
Ecstasy - Hayden Carruth
Weathering - Fleur Adcock
Sunset - Rainer Maria Rilke
For the Sake of Strangers - Dorianne Laux
Song of a Man Who Has Come Through - D. H. Lawrence
Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy's Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota
To Autumn - John Keats
The Art of Disappearing - Naomi Shihab Nye
The Mind of Absolute Trust (excerpt) - Seng-T
When Death Comes - Mary Olivier
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read every poetry book Roger Housden has written and I owe him a huge debt of gratitude. He has introduced me to poets I would never have met and now just love. Unfortunately, usually the only poetry books one finds on the shelves are the tried and true. He has some of those sprinkled in, but he also has some you will never know about unless you read his books.

His commentary is very personal and enlightening. If I have any negative criticism, it is that he sometimes belabors his personal life a bit too much. But be patient, he'll forge on and once caught in the poetry, leaves the personal behind.

I have written to him to ask him to please continue to write these books. I believe he has set a limit of six poetry books. Not nearly enough!! More!! More!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Another winner in the "10 poems to..." series. Housden's
commentary and insights to the mind and heart of a poetry
writer is extraordinary. This one is not only a winner, but
a keepe.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Roger Housden is a master at detecting the world-wide array of poets and selecting the best of the best. And then, he gifts us with his talent that opens the heart of the poems and mines more precious gifts for us.

Bill Corbett
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a newcomer to poetry and, frankly, a bit intimidated by it. Roger Housden is the perfect person to gently lead the novice into experiencing some of the most beautiful, soul-stirring poems I could imagine. Each poem is followed by an chapter by Housden on what that poem has meant to him and how it has deepened his experience of life. Very intelligent, yet totally down-to-earth, I felt myself connecting with Mr. Housden and, through him, to each poem in an unexpected and deeply spiritual way. I now own all ten of his "Ten Poems to .... " series, and I consider discovering them a major blessing in my life.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book came in great condition, it has lots of poems that can mean something to one person, and another to someone else. This book did a lot for me in helping me write my final essay in my English class. Thank so much. It also came very fast in the mail.
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