Poetry recommendations

Jubilee streetparty

Jubilee Lines is a celebration book of poems to mark the Diamond Jubilee. Each poem relates to a particular year- Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy has brought together  a dazzling array of contemporary poets. I love this one — admittedly it’s got a librarian in it.

1972 Wendy Cope

1972 was the year
Of the hippy librarians from Islington.
My flatmate met hers first
And I got off with his friend.

They had beards. They smoked dope.
They were very alternative.
Mine gave me a copy
Of Vedanta for the Western World.

I wore long Indian dresses
And tried to like the smell of joss sticks.
In August we sat in bed
And watched the Olympics, stoned.

Late that year I went into analysis.
Freud didn’t get along
With the hippy boyfriend.
We drifted apart.

It was fun, some of the time,
While it lasted. You could say that,
I suppose, about most years,
About most lives.

The Poetry of the Year recommendations by the Telegraph also sound good. These include Andrew Motion’s Customs House (that’s on order for libraries) Kathleen Jamie’s  The Overhaul, 81 Austerities by Sam Riviere and 2013 Forward Book of Poetry

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