Risking Everything: 110 Poems of Love and Revelation
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Risking Everything: 110 Poems of Love and Revelation

4.37 of 5 stars 4.37  ·  rating details  ·  255 ratings  ·  31 reviews
“Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?” —Mary Oliver

This luminous anthology brings together great poets from around the world whose work transcends culture and time. Their words reach past the outer divisions to the universal currents of love and revelation that move and inspire us all. These poems urge us to wake up and love. They also call on us...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published March 18th 2003 by Harmony
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The introduction states, "Yet it is precisely the crack in our lives that can let the light pour through." A really beautiful collection of poetry. I didn't love all of the poems, but I liked a majority, and truly deeply fell in love with a good number.

The collection featured some favorite poets like Mary Oliver, Rumi, and E.E. Cummings. Also, lines like these:

p 10, from The Gate by Marie Howe - "This is what you have been waiting for, he used to say to me. / And I'd say, What? // And he'd say,...more
Jan 29, 2008 Joy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Joy by: Tracy the yoga instructor
Shelves: poetry
My yoga instructor often reads a poem or an excerpt from this book during shavasana, and everytime I'm quite moved. It's filled with the classic poets and contemporary poets, the famous and less well-known. Poetry is a great cleanser of the palate in between books, in between moods, late at night. I love the following poem so much, and it's one that found me a long time ago, and then burrowed its way into my sleeping mind, and then found me again.

A Blessing by James Wright
Just off the highway to...more
Jennifer Gilbert
I bought this on a whim and it's now one of my favorite books. If you know anyone going through a hard time or a big transition, this makes an especially great gift ... but anyone who loves the written word can appreciate this collection, especially since the poems are generally very easy to comprehend. If you long to be inspired by something richer than your typical essay but have found poetry too inaccessible or cumbersome in the past, this might be the collection for you; there are some truly...more
Sometimes it is a relief to have an anthology instead of constant reading of tottering piles of books, magazines and an overwhelming sense of futility. And with a title, in brackets, "risking everything" I appreciate the efforts of Roger Housden to put in one volume the poem which respond to the Mary Oliver quote that prefaces his introduction. "Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?"

In one week, I found the perfect poem for a friend who just found out she had throat can...more
If I could give this book a thousand stars, I'd still want to give it more--it's absolutely my favorite book of poems ever, and I am very picky about compilations, even when they're the best of from a single author. I usually feel that having more than 25 or so poems in one book is overwhelming and I end up not really reading any of them, but this book keeps me fascinated and moved over and over again. I bought it on an intuitive hunch, I've slugged it around so much that I've lost it and then b...more
A very nice collection of poems, and by a good mix of modern and contemporary authors. Most of them are deep, beautiful, touching, etc, and then some are about oatmeal.

"I am aware that is is not good to eat oatmeal alone.
Its consistency is such that it is better for your mental health if somebody eats it with you.
That is why I often think up an imaginary companion to have breakfast with.
Possibly it is even worse to eat oatmeal with an imaginary companion.
Nevertheless, yesterday morning, I ate my...more
There are a lot of excellent pieces in this anthology, but it feels more like the selected works of a few poets. Robert Bly, in particular, receives a lot of attention both and poet and translator. I would've been happier with more variety.
I read a poem out of here almost every night before going to bed. Often I read a couple, because depending on the day's actions, some hit me more potently than others depending on my frame of mind. However, I haven't been disappointed with Roger Housden's choices in this book. After a rough or busy day of to-do's and should-have-done's, these poems often bring you back to thinking about the things that really matter.
Feb 11, 2008 Heidi rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: lovers of poetry
Shelves: literature, read2007
Best read over time, pick it up, read, put it down, mull over a poem...a sample....

Homcoming by Wendell Berry

One faith is bondage. Two
are free. In the trust
of old love, cultivation shows
a dark and graceful wilderness
at its heart. Wild
in that wilderness, we roam
the distance of our faith;
safe beyond the bounds
of what we know. O love,
open. Show me
my country. Take me home.
While I didn't like every poem in this collection, I liked most of them, and that's saying something. This served as a great introduction to poetry and, most satisfactorily, covered a range of cultures and ideas. Housden has a sense of taste very similar to my own. Also, his introduction is worth a read. It complements his poem choices fabulously.
Roger Housden has such a talent for collecting poems from different periods and cultures and weave a wonderful tapestry of ideas, images, and emotions which "crack open" spaces for creating a life which is truly ours. A great discovery is the poetry of Mary Oliver, more coming up!
I love Housden's ten poems series and I was expecting this to be similar but he doesn't give explanations with each poem. Having said that some of the poems really touched me and I will definitely be going back to this book for inspiration.
Edmund Davis-Quinn
Some good poems, a lot that didn't hit my heart.

I think I want to read more of Robert Bly.

Flew through the end of this to return to library.

Also reminded me I should read more Rumi.

A decent collection.
Kathy Wolfe
Some stellar poetry and some depressing stuff mixed in. It was recommended by my yoga teacher. Jane Hirshfield's "The Door", Fleur Adcock's "Weathering" and "Gift" by Czeslaw Milosz were favorites.
Geoffrey Gioja
Excellent. Along with the Robert Bly edited anthology and "The soul is here..." anthology, one of my favorite collections.
Ward Bell
Marvelous collection of contemporary poets: Oliver, Wolcott, Whyte,Bly ... and some of the old greats .. Rumi, Hafiz
Aug 01, 2007 Nancy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: All persons interested in poetry.
This is a great collection of poems that's understandable, for the most part, even if you don't read much poetry.
A great companion to his Ten Poems series. Good anthology of contemporary, and not so contemporary poetry.
Apr 30, 2008 Susan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Susan by: Cheryll
My favorite is the Marge Piercy poem. I read it over & over. Uh, my partner wrote it on my pillowcases.
An inspiring collection of poetry with favorites by Billy Collins, Mary Oliver, Rumi, Rilke, and more.
Every time I need to emotionally recharge, I pull out this slender volume. It works every time!
Feb 27, 2010 Cindy added it
I learned that I am not alone. That there are others like me who see, and share beauty.
One of my favorite compliations of poetry. I return to it whenever in a poetry mood.
Whenever I feel the need to read something beautiful, this is the book I turn to.
Some wonderful poems, a few that aren't so great. All in all a lovely collection though.
Nov 04, 2010 Joni added it
Shelves: poetry
wonderful poems by many favorite poets of love, passion and nature *****
Food for the soul. I keep coming back to this, finding new wisdom.
Has some of my favorite poems. Nice selection for a light read.
best compilation of poems to bring your soul to life
Sep 01, 2008 Shelly rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: you!
Recommended to Shelly by: I found it in B&N, and was copying poems into my journal... fina
Shelves: poetry
This is one of my most favorite collections of poetry.
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Roger Housden is the author of some twenty books of non fiction, including the best selling Ten Poems series. His new book, SAVED BY BEAUTY: ADVENTURES OF AN AMERICAN ROMANTIC IN IRAN, comes out on May 17 2011 with Broadway Books.
More about Roger Housden...
Ten Poems to Change Your Life Ten Poems to Open Your Heart Ten Poems to Set You Free Ten Poems to Last a Lifetime Ten Poems to Change Your Life Again and Again

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