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Ten Poems to Change Your Life Hardcover – June 26, 2001

4.5 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In Ten Poems to Change Your Life Housden offers a unique map for the Soul's journey and encourages us to begin. Accessible, elegant, luminous, and wise, this book is Soul food."
-- Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D., author of Kitchen Table Wisdom and My Grandfather's Blessings

From the Inside Flap

This is a dangerous book. Great poetry calls into question not less than everything. It dares us to break free from the safe strategies of the cautious mind. It opens us to pain and joy and delight. It amazes, startles, pierces, and transforms us. It can lead to communion and grace.
Through the voices of ten inspiring poets and his own reflections, the author of Sacred America shows how poetry illuminates the eternal feelings and desires that stir the human heart and soul. These poems explore such universal themes as the awakening of wonder, the longing for love, the wisdom of dreams, and the courage required to live an authentic life. In thoughtful commentary on each work, Housden offers glimpses into his personal spiritual journey and invites readers to contemplate the significance of the poet's message in their own lives.
In Ten Poems to Change Your Life, Roger Housden shows how these astonishing poems can inspire you to live what you always knew in your bones but never had the words for.

"The Journey" by Mary Oliver
"Last Night as I Was Sleeping" by Antonio Machado
"Song of Myself" by Walt Whitman
"Zero Circle" by Rumi
"The Time Before Death" by Kabir
"Ode to My Socks" by Pablo Neruda
"Last Gods" by Galway Kinnell
"For the Anniversary of My Death" by W. S. Merwin
"Love After Love" by Derek Walcott
"The Dark Night" by St. John of the Cross

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; 1 edition (June 26, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609609017
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609609019
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.7 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,131 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I need no convincing to read poetry. It is second nature to me... if not first in line. There is this quick, pointed injection of life that poetry offers that lengthier prose cannot. An image. A snap of sound. A gut punch. A sudden miracle. A flash of light. A surprise. Housden has recognized this and, with this book, presents his own miracle of found poetry to the general reader. He has chosen ten poems by ten very different authors out of ten different planes of existence (time, space, culture) and presented them here to - more than not, I think - the mostly uninitiated. Certainly these are not complex poems. No argument on their quality. They are definitely not the ten that I would choose (although one or two of them might indeed make it onto my list also)... but they don't have to be! Poetry is, after all, as personal and intimate as making love. Indeed, it is making love... the mind in the most intimate relationship with life in all its juices and flavors.
Housden's choices range from Whitman's enthused "Song of Myself" (this one would make it onto my list also)... to the simple pleasures of "Ode to My Socks" by Pablo Neruda... to the inspirational "The Journey" by Mary Oliver... to the old age reborn to new age "Zero Circle" by Rumi... to the deliciously sensual "Last Gods" by Galway Kinnell... to the always impressive "For the Anniversary of My Death" by W.S. Merwin... and more. Each poem is followed by Housden's essay elaborating his choice, the poem's effect on him, it's life-changing (at least for him) message. He kindles the poetry flame, and that is a wonderful thing.
For those who are reasonably well acquainted with poetry, there is little new here. The authors should all be familiar ones, several by now considered classics.
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Format: Hardcover
Roger Housden's "ten poems to change your life" is guaranteed to inspire, illuminate and educate. Having discovered Mr. Housden's analysis of Mary Oliver's "The Journey" in the July issue of O Magazine, I was moved to purchase this gem of a book. The author has a remarkable relationship with language. Each poem is an opportunity to discover the music of Housden's ability with words. "This is the self who slips through the cracks of the ordinary mind when the sentry is looking the other way. If there is one word that can describe its voice, it is the word authentic." His fluid and incredible visual style had this reader weeping. Without question, each poem is in, and of itself, special, but it is the author's lyrical interpretation that gives this book it's powerful voice. For anyone who is on the path of self-discovery, Roger Housden's work is a journey well worth the taking.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a lovely and thoughtful meditation on 10 poems with spiritual or metaphysical themes. The selection of poems is interesting and eclectic, but it's the commentary that really shines. Mr. Housden discusses the poetic themes with stunning insight is to their relevance to modern life...trust me, the first chapter alone is worth the price of admission. A book to be read, re-read and savored on the road of life. A big "thank you" to Mr. Housden for this wonderful book!
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Format: Hardcover
In her book BLUE PASTURES, poet Mary Oliver states: "The three ingredients of poetry: the mystery of the universe, spiritual curiosity, the energy of language." Roger Housden does a superb job of incorporating these three key ingredients in his marvelous book, TEN POEMS TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE. I am on my second reading and just realized what a wonderful gift TEN POEMS would be for people who say they don't like or "get" poetry. Mr. Housden interprets poetry in his own poetic and deeply-felt style, illuminating the reader's own innate knowing of universal truths, longings and passions. I am reminded of a recent ad for Mercedes-Benz: "Live. A lot. Unleash yourself upon the world and go!" Mr. Housden can show you how to do just that by connecting with great poetry. What a pleasure this book is.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book that will cause you to take stock in your life. This selection of ten poems is terrific alone - but the authors commentary helps weave them together and provides thought provoking insight that will inspire you.
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Format: Hardcover
Each of us is on a different pathway in our own spiritual journey. By just picking up a book with a title that promises to change your life, you are admitting that your mind is open to that possibility. I found this book sitting on a shelf in a quaint store in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, and as I skimmed the pages, I stopped and read one of the ten poems presented in this book. Immediately I knew that this was a book that I would read over and over again in my own search for spiritual truth. This book is to the soul what chocolate is to the taste buds.
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Format: Hardcover
Roger has done us two great favors with this book. It is increasingly hard to recognise truly authentic voices in the sea of information and social discourse we all struggle to navigate. Roger introduces us to 10 of them - and in my case, many are new, and I'm so grateful to meet them. Secondly, his lovingly crafted interpretations of each poem serve to kick start us, his readers, into the very rewarding act of interpreting poetry for ourselves. I plan to allow one week for each poem and, inspired by Roger, see what insights come from my own dialogue with the poetry.
Thanks, Roger. WHAT a gift!
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