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Ten Poems to Change Your Life
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Ten Poems to Change Your Life

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  586 ratings  ·  82 reviews
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 Amer
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published June 26th 2001 by Harmony
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(showing 1-30 of 1,152)
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Jeff Shelnutt
I think Housden did a nice job with his picks of what he feels are momentous poems. Another title could have been "Ten Poems to Cause You to Think About Life in Ways You Haven't Before." Of course, this would be ridiculously wordy and not be nearly as marketable as the title it currently possesses.

Most of this book is the author's commentary on the poems he chose. I know some people would prefer not to receive any influence as to how they should interpret a poem, but I personally gleaned helpful
this was a fabulous little book i read a few years ago that made me fall in love with poetry, all over again. every poem included here carries with it a powerful message of love, faith, loss, recovery, adventure, reflection and gratitude...and i really enjoyed reading roger housden's commentary on each of the poems. since there are only ten pieces in the entire book, my suggestion would be to read one poem per day and letting the themes of the piece marinate with you for a while. i'd also sugges ...more
Aug 17, 2009 Rochelle rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People with sleeping problems
Recommended to Rochelle by: Book Club
Shelves: bookclub, read-2009
Got Insomnia? Try this book!

The ten poems, while they didn't change my life rather than waste a bit of time that I can't get back, aren't too bad. I figured even though I wasn't a huge fan of poetry I could knock off 10 poems. It was Housden's wacky dissection of each poem that bored me to death. I decided to just stick to reading the poems after I had read 2 of his regurgitation of the poems, and that was enough!
This is an interesting and thought provoking group of poems selected as "life changing." I very much enjoyed the poems, as well as, the author's commentary about each poem. His comments added to my enjoyment of reading the collection.

I was struck by the timeless quality of some of the poems included in the selection. One of the poems I particularly enjoyed was written in the 1200s. It was relevant to me today!

This book was read and discussed by my book club. We each selected a peom that touched
Perfect timing for the reading of this book. I will keep it handy, especially at work, when I forget to lift my head above the daily routine. It reminded me of the exact souvenir I wanted to bring back from vacation:
"Wake up and Love! The kindness of these poems -- and the kindness of this injunction -- lies in the acknowledgement that our journey happens a moment at a time; and in the end, all shall be well, whatever comes around the bend in the road. It is not as if there is some ultimate cond
What a great, great book. Better than any self-help book, this set of poems reminds you of the beauty, of the power, of the wonder, and of the reality of life and love. From the Introduction, through each poem and its related essay discussing the poem, all the way through the Epilogue, just a fantastic look at life. As Housden suggests, reading these poems every morning is not out of the realm of possibility. If I can be allowed to quote from his Epilogue: "Above all, they weave in and out of th ...more
I enjoyed Roger Housden's in-depth research and commentary on each of the poems he selected for this collection. Not everyone sees the same points, so I find it's interesting to compare notes as well as see what others think. Although Housden's poem choices personally spoke to him, I think there are other poems that would have more relevance to a larger group of people.
I know, why did I even pick this up in the first place? Well, I do happen to love poetry, and it was loaned to me by a member of my writing/art group (HAW). You see, we write stream of conscious for a period of time from prompts derived from poetry, meditation and, sometimes, the air. My problems with this book were simple: One, I often do not follow the prompt and my writing digresses into so much tangential bullshit and Two, I didn't much like being told how to think, interpret or feel about a ...more
Karen Maskarinec
What a lovely book! If I had to suggest a theme, as the third-graders I tutor had to do last week, I would say it is this: Mindfulness is a wonderful, life-long pursuit. I savored this book.
Sarah K
Do not like commentaries (knew that going into this) but thoroughly enjoyed the anthology.
Rachel Swords
What a lovely collection of poems! They really are thought-provoking and extremely meaningful. My favorites were "The Journey," "Zero Circle," and "Love After Love."
Julia Atwood
Love the poems Roger Housden choose...and his spin on the meaning/process.
Not being in school anymore, I've discovered I love anthologies as a great way to find writers I might not have otherwise and Housden does not disappoint with his selection and discussion. Will definitely be checking out his other books. Some of these poems arrest you and demand half an hour's thought before you've realized what's happened, or that you've reread the poem a dozen times and loved it more each time. Would be a fantastic add-on gift or stocking stuffer. Seriously...what can I write ...more
Housden's "Ten Poems" series are all excellent.
Loved the poems, liked the approach.
Hazel Elizabeth
If I had to choose a series of books as my all time favorite, it would be Roger Housden's Ten Poems to....
I've discovered my all time favorite poet (Naomi Shihab Nye) because of these books! He chooses the most exquisite, sublime, challenging and inspiring poetry, and his commentaries are superb, analysis that truely gets into the marrow of a poem. This is the perfect series, the perfect gift - boxed set of Roger Housden's Ten Poems... will be life-changing (and I don't use that word lightly.)

Not a real fan of poetry but I found these handful to be very good. I remember reading them for the first time, the clouds were stretched gray from east to west pelting the earth with its tears... I remember whilst I read, the sensation of awe enveloped me. To say the least, I found respect and appreciation for this form of literary art.

I especially liked Mary Oliver's "The Journey" and Rumi's "Zero Circle." Excerpts from Whitman was swell as swell.
This book probably should be rated a five, but I am so new to reading poetry I just didn't get the majority of them. Roger Housden does an incredible job at walking through each poem with immense ability to help understand them and their authors, but I still struggled. My favorite by far was The Journey by Mary Oliver. Her poetry resonates with me to my core.
i received this as gift from someone who did not know me very well, but never got around to reading it til now. there are some excellent poems included here, even from poets i'd never heard of before, though i could do without the excessive commentary (and pretty much all commentary is excessive when it comes to poetry) from the editor. poetry, for me, is an intuitive thing, and speaks for itself more often than not.
Rita Schmitz
I love to read poetry but wonder sometimes if what I think the poet is saying is way off track from what the poet was trying to expres. Ten Poems was fun for me to read because after I read and thought about the poem, I could read the author's reflections and his insight of what the poet was saying. Even those these chosen poems weren't my favorites, this book was still an enjoyable and thought provoking read.
Katrina Sark
"Sweet Honey from Old Failures – There is another life, he says, our true one; and it is here, just below our skin and eyelids. Sometimes we can come awake to it in our night dreams. We spend most of our days immersed in the stories we take to be the stuff of our lives. Tale after tale of gain and loss consumes our attention for decades, often a lifetime. And then all of a sudden it is over." (p.23)
ten poems to change your life by Roger Housden. From the cover: Through the voices of ten inspiring poets and his own reflections, the author shows how poetry illuminates the eternal feelings and desires that stir the human heart and soul. Housden offers glimpses into his personal spiritual journey and invites readers to contemplate the significance of th poet's message in their own lives.
The Journey, a poem by Mary Oliver, is a piece I return to again and's a call to listen to your own heart, to follow your own internal compass, no matter what the world around you is saying..."But little by little, as you left their voices behind, the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds and there was a new voice which you slowly recognized as your own..."
All these "Ten Poems to..." are solid, but they'll also be hit or miss since they truly are one man's opinion. This collection deserves credit for being very diverse in topics, authors and tone of the poetry. I found a poem that I really connected with, and I think most readers will share my experience; one poem that will influence you. And that makes this book one worth reading.
This little book crossed my desk one day during my volunteer stint st the local library. After noting that included poems my my favorite poets -- Rumi, Oliver, Whitman -- I checked it out on a whim, brought it home & started reading. If not life changing, the poems DO have some wonderful insights on how to live your life. I highly recommend this little book.
Okay, this is not a graduate school poetry seminar. But still...the author does a good job of "unpacking" these ten poems. Several of them really spoke to me, and I'm guessing that most people would have the same experience---there's "something there", for sure. This book made me want to read more poetry!
Joanne Miller
Housden has a magic way with poems--not only is is selection profound, his thoughtful assessment of each poem is completely accessible. I didn't think much of poetry until I started to read his series of "Ten Poems"--it completely changed my opinion and fostered a real love of poetry in me.
Excellent choice of poetry. I liked to hear the authors perspective on the pieces. I didn't agree with him . . . well, quite a lot, but it was still a great read. It was not a book to win you over to his perspective, it was just sharing. The writing was entertaining and the poems were awesome.
There was a lot I liked about this book. I thought he was a little verbose but not badly. The thing I didn't like was that one of the poems was just very erotic. I had bought the book thinking to give it to a granddaughter. I won't be giving her the book. I wish I hadn't read the poem either.
This was a wonderful book, glad I found it in a used bookstore on Easter. I couldn't put it down. It had many of my favorite poets from Whitman, Rummi, Neuredo and St. John of the Cross. The author offers wonderful commentary on each poem. I will keep this close by for years to come!
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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...
Risking Everything: 110 Poems of Love and Revelation 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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