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Poems of the Decade: An Anthology of the Forward Books of Poetry

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Poems of the Decade brings together more than one hundred poems from the many thousands submitted to the Forward Prizes for Poetry in the first decade of the 21st century. The Forwards are among the world's most coveted poetry honours. They have been awarded annually since 1992 for the Best Collection, Best First Collection and Best Single Poem published in Britain and Irel Poems of the Decade brings together more than one hundred poems from the many thousands submitted to the Forward Prizes for Poetry in the first decade of the 21st century. The Forwards are among the world's most coveted poetry honours. They have been awarded annually since 1992 for the Best Collection, Best First Collection and Best Single Poem published in Britain and Ireland, and the roster of winning, shortlisted and highly commended poets regularly juxtaposes familiar canonical names with fresh voices. This anthology of anthologies draws on the ten Forward Books of Poetry published to accompany the prizes between 2001 and 2010. It is the perfect introduction to a wide range of contemporary poetry: works that speak of violence, danger and fear, of love and all that opposes love, in forms of language broken and reshaped by the need to communicate what it is to be alive now, here. Agbabi, Armitage, Burnside, Duffy, Dunmore, Fanthorpe, Heaney, Motion, Nagra, O'Brien and more.


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Poems of the Decade brings together more than one hundred poems from the many thousands submitted to the Forward Prizes for Poetry in the first decade of the 21st century. The Forwards are among the world's most coveted poetry honours. They have been awarded annually since 1992 for the Best Collection, Best First Collection and Best Single Poem published in Britain and Irel Poems of the Decade brings together more than one hundred poems from the many thousands submitted to the Forward Prizes for Poetry in the first decade of the 21st century. The Forwards are among the world's most coveted poetry honours. They have been awarded annually since 1992 for the Best Collection, Best First Collection and Best Single Poem published in Britain and Ireland, and the roster of winning, shortlisted and highly commended poets regularly juxtaposes familiar canonical names with fresh voices. This anthology of anthologies draws on the ten Forward Books of Poetry published to accompany the prizes between 2001 and 2010. It is the perfect introduction to a wide range of contemporary poetry: works that speak of violence, danger and fear, of love and all that opposes love, in forms of language broken and reshaped by the need to communicate what it is to be alive now, here. Agbabi, Armitage, Burnside, Duffy, Dunmore, Fanthorpe, Heaney, Motion, Nagra, O'Brien and more.

30 review for Poems of the Decade: An Anthology of the Forward Books of Poetry

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    I had to study this for English Literature A-Level, and at first I hated it. The contemporary nature of the majority of the poems was not appealing to me, bearing in mind I'm a huge fan of Emily Brontë's and Hardy's poetry - how do incontinent, blind aunties and chlamydia roulette compare to the stunning Wessex landscape? But there are some gems in here, I promise. There's a wide range of voices and forms so there should be something for everybody. My favourites were : Roderick Ford's Giuseppe, I had to study this for English Literature A-Level, and at first I hated it. The contemporary nature of the majority of the poems was not appealing to me, bearing in mind I'm a huge fan of Emily Brontë's and Hardy's poetry - how do incontinent, blind aunties and chlamydia roulette compare to the stunning Wessex landscape? But there are some gems in here, I promise. There's a wide range of voices and forms so there should be something for everybody. My favourites were : Roderick Ford's Giuseppe, Robert Minhinnick's The Fox in the National Museum of Wales, Ian Duhig's The Lammas Hireling and Patience Agbabi's Eat Me. (None of these came up in the exam, typical.)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Fatima mehjabin

    I've got to say I really enjoyed some of the poems but disliked other poems. Some were really interesting while others were peculiar,weird and unlikable.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Joy Finlayson

    Poems of the Decade is a wonderful anthology of contemporary poetry from some of the best-know poets, as well as many names you may never have heard of. This mix means there are poems to suit everyone, on a vast array of topics and from numerous voices with a message to say. Not every poem may be to your taste, but there's bound to be a number that are. It is a wonderful collection of poems from the past decade, and was a joy to read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    megan ♡

    I had to read 28 of these for college, so decided I may as well try and read the rest so I could add it to my Goodreads list. But the thing is, I really don't like poetry. I find it hard to get into, and most of the time, have no idea what imagery and symbolism the poets are trying to put across. Call me uncultured, or stupid, I just really don't enjoy poems. For me, I loved A Minor Role, Fantasia on a Theme of James Wrightand The Lammas Hireling because they actually meant something to me, and I had to read 28 of these for college, so decided I may as well try and read the rest so I could add it to my Goodreads list. But the thing is, I really don't like poetry. I find it hard to get into, and most of the time, have no idea what imagery and symbolism the poets are trying to put across. Call me uncultured, or stupid, I just really don't enjoy poems. For me, I loved A Minor Role, Fantasia on a Theme of James Wrightand The Lammas Hireling because they actually meant something to me, and I found the actual content intriguing. I'm obsessed with myths and legends and magic because growing up my grandmother used to tell me stories similar to that of The Lammas Hireling (not even very censored versions). She would also tell stories of minors so James Wright was close to my heart. And for some reason, I felt as though A Minor Role was about depression, although none of my class (or my teacher) agreed with me. I don't know why, I just felt very attached to that one, and felt as though depression was exactly what Fanthorpe was trying to describe. Who knows... like I said - I'm not the best at understanding poetry.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Chloë

    I'm not a huge fan of poetry, but I needed to read some of these for college. So, I've decided to read the rest of them and attempt to review them properly. Also, I didn't realise how many poems there were, so apologies for the incredibly long review! I averaged my ratings for all the poems, which came to 1.7 , therefore I give this 2 stars out of five. It's safe to say that I'm still not a fan of poetry and I don't plan on reading more any time soon, but it has been quite interesting to finish t I'm not a huge fan of poetry, but I needed to read some of these for college. So, I've decided to read the rest of them and attempt to review them properly. Also, I didn't realise how many poems there were, so apologies for the incredibly long review! I averaged my ratings for all the poems, which came to 1.7 , therefore I give this 2 stars out of five. It's safe to say that I'm still not a fan of poetry and I don't plan on reading more any time soon, but it has been quite interesting to finish this collection, as I did enjoy a few of them. My favourite poems would be The Lammas Hireling and Giuseppe as I personally feel as though I was able to understand them more, compared to some of the other poems. Rating - 2/5 ★★ Anyway, there is a full list of poems with my ratings next to them on my blog, simply click here!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dane Cobain

    I think my rating for this book was affected by the fact that I’ve already read a bunch of these after winning them in a National Poetry Day competition. I was familiar with some of the poems because they’d appeared in the other collections and to be honest, by the time I got halfway through it I just wanted it to end. That’s not to say that this isn’t a good collection. It’s just that it’s deceptive and turns out to be a lot longer than it looks. I think it was the right book at the wrong time f I think my rating for this book was affected by the fact that I’ve already read a bunch of these after winning them in a National Poetry Day competition. I was familiar with some of the poems because they’d appeared in the other collections and to be honest, by the time I got halfway through it I just wanted it to end. That’s not to say that this isn’t a good collection. It’s just that it’s deceptive and turns out to be a lot longer than it looks. I think it was the right book at the wrong time for me, and there was too much poetry that required you to think about it and not enough of it that just held a mirror up to the world. Don’t get me wrong, a decent mix is nice, but this probably isn’t the book to give you that. Still, if you like modern poetry then it’s not a bad little collection. Plus it includes plenty of award winners if that’s your sort of thing.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Klinta

    One star, because I only liked a handful of poems. That means that either most of those celebrated and published poems are pretty bad or the person who compiled this wasn't on top of his game. It's ridiculous how shallow and stupid some of those works were. It is even more ridiculous how deep and stupid some of those works were. I'm glad for the ones I liked, but mostly it was crap. Sorry, not sorry.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Full disclosure: I'm reading this because I'm teaching it but I'm really glad I am. far superior to most odds and ends anthologies there are some real gems in here and a wide range of different styles.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Michael Spendelow

    An exceptionally intriguing collection of modern poetry that draws focus on modern as well as long-standing thematic links and collated in a most impressive fashion. Stand out poems for me: Robert Minhinnick's 'The Fox in the National Museum of Wales' and Saumas Heaney's 'Out of the Bag'.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    I was a bit disappointed by this. Most of the poems I didn't like much, there were some that I enjoyed but none that I loved.

  11. 4 out of 5

    EmR

    Studying some these poems in English Literature but I have also taken the time to read the others in this anthology. One of my favourites would have to be Out of Control.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Grace Ormerod

    Read it for school. Lots of great poems

  13. 4 out of 5

    Elancharan Gunasekaran

    Lovely selection, the longer form poems are a chore to read, love the shorter forms.

  14. 4 out of 5

    no-one you know

    some triumphs. some... eh. xonoone

  15. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte Whiteing

    Got an exam on this tomorrow, some of the poems are good but some are very bad

  16. 4 out of 5

    Borders (Re)Imagined

    A brilliant anthology for the A Level English Literature syllabus. Some powerfully gritty material.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    Somewhat surprisingly, this anthology of anthologies, with poetry taken from the ten volumes of 'Poetry of the decade' published between 2001 and 2010, did not provide nearly so many heart-stopping moments as the one for 2010 did. I'm not sure why; they were ordered alphabetically so it isn't a case of older ones being more 'flowery', old-fashioned (!) or less connected. Possibly there were more longer ones. Whichever, as with all poetry, I'm confident that re-reading will provide a different ef Somewhat surprisingly, this anthology of anthologies, with poetry taken from the ten volumes of 'Poetry of the decade' published between 2001 and 2010, did not provide nearly so many heart-stopping moments as the one for 2010 did. I'm not sure why; they were ordered alphabetically so it isn't a case of older ones being more 'flowery', old-fashioned (!) or less connected. Possibly there were more longer ones. Whichever, as with all poetry, I'm confident that re-reading will provide a different effect.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Yasmin

    I initially had to read some of the poems for A level, but decided to read the whole thing. Most of the poems aren't great, but there are a few really good ones! Some of the ones I found most interesting: Eat Me, Giuseppe, The Fox in the National Museum of Wales, Thinking of England, On her Blindness and Please Hold.

  19. 4 out of 5

    ronnie

    English Literature Required Text ~ Eh? All I can say, really. I’m a much being fan of ancient poetry, especially Sappho. This is too ‘modern’ for my liking, but some were very interesting and very enjoyable.

  20. 5 out of 5

    L u c y♡

    🌜Read for my English Literature A~level🌜 𝓕𝓪𝓿𝓸𝓾𝓻𝓲𝓽𝓮𝓼: “On her blindness”, “a minor role”, “eat me”, “to my nine year old self”, “Look we have coming to Dover!” 𝓵𝓮𝓪𝓼𝓽 𝓯𝓪𝓿𝓸𝓾𝓻𝓲𝓽𝓮𝓼: “From The journal of a disappointed man”, “out of the bag”, “Giuseppe”, “the Lammas Hierling”

  21. 4 out of 5

    Remy

    3.5/5! *extra reading as summer work for English Lit A-Level* I haven’t read this back to front, only the poems I’ll be studying so I’ll mark this as read again when I’ve read all the poems. I generally enjoyed this but it’s definitely a mixed bag of poems!!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lucy Galvin

    Modern poetry - some good - some not so much ...

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jon Margetts

    Read during my first year of teaching A-Level poetry. Very good. Some excellent poems included.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Imaan Iqbal

    I probably would have enjoyed this more if I didn't have to analyse this to death for my English Lit A Level

  25. 5 out of 5

    Maggie Hesseling

    I'm not a big fan of modern poetry. Mostly I find it difficult to understand. But I found quite a few of these clear. Some shocking (like the first and the one about 9/11) and some of them very interesting. Luckily we handled them in Bookclub and got to discuss some of our favourites. Poetry and I will continue to have our love/hate relationship. But with every book I read I think I'm coming to understand it a little more.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    I had to study some of these poems for my English Literature A-Level. I personally don't enjoy poetry, so this was a hard anthology to get through and a hard module to study. Some of the poems were quite good, though!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Orla

    Highlight: - Please Hold - Song - Ode on an Grayson Perry Urn - An Easy Passage

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jake Scott

    Read as part of my studies. Thoroughly enjoyed some of the poems in this anthology.

  29. 5 out of 5

    lilli☁️

    studied for college- eat me is my favourite poem

  30. 5 out of 5

    Vesper

    It's a good book of poems

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