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Dear Boy

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  301 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Dear Boy is the dramatic and inventive debut by Emily Berry. These characterful, intelligent and darkly witty poems explore lives lived strangely in unusual worlds, through a series of deft and seductive soliloquies.

In a collection with a taste for ventriloquy and wickedness, and a flair for vocal cross-dressing, the balance of power is always shifting in an unexp
Paperback, 57 pages
Published March 7th 2013 by Faber & Faber
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Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  301 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Apr 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
A stimulating, if at times highly personal,first date with Emily Berry's oeuvre! She has produced some very finely-etched & varied poems in this collection,with a consistent quality & a voice with both poignancy & humour,encapsulating human emotions & feelings in an often prosaic world.Berry hints at hidden depths within her masquerading,& doesn't shy away from startling vulgarities; the factious line
"He slapped my face with his penis./
'To get you going,'he said"
Sian Lile-Pastore
Feb 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
I enjoyed some of these and some not so much and that's my insightful review.
Feb 10, 2017 rated it liked it
What Sian said. The poems about love, heartbreak, being sad, London, i thought were really special. Others felt a little overly impressed by their own unexpectedness.
David Jordan
Nov 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I sat at the bar drinking a glass of bourbon, neat, while reading this arresting collection of poems. Definitely one of the most satisfying afternoons I have enjoyed in a while. There's a very good chance that my mind became more intoxicated with the quality of this poet's verse than it did with the Knob Creek in my glass. This book absolutely needs a publisher on this side of the pond. Highly recommended.
Mar 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
buy this book buy this book buy this book buy this book buy this book buy this book buy this book buy this book buy this book buy this book buy this book buy this book buy this book buy this book buy this book buy this book buy this book buy this book buy this book buy this book buy this book buy this book buy this book
Nov 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Carmen by: Ariel Bissett
“Every time I think a new thought I can smell an old one burning”

Full disclosure — I don't "get" a lot of poetry. I was so intimidated to read this, and I carried it around for weeks before finally diving in.

I do feel like I missed things in these poems that others probably get. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed reading this collection. Many of Emily's poems were dreamy, magical, like wonderland. Others were leaking dark undertones. I loved her style. Many of the poems had a quirky lay
Pickle Farmer
Nov 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
TERRIFIC. Love the language in these poems, the flat affect, the reoccurring characters and themes, the concern with psychoanalysis. Very modern and contemporary-feeling. And my god, the humor! Highly, highly recommended.
Vanya Prodanova
May 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
I read every single poem like two or three times to try understand it, to find sense, but NO! I think that even If I had read them in my native language, I wouldn't have understood them either. It was not for me. There were a few of them that I manage to undrestand, to feel them, to find sense in them, but that's all.
For the most of the reading I felt like the author ate some "mushrooms" and started writing nosense using absurd metaphors, that only she knew what they meant. For me, poems h
Russell Jones
Aug 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very unusual, engaging, and a book I'd gladly reread. I like the more conversational tone of some of these poems, which ties in so well with the more experimental content and form. Clearly this is a personal preference (and I'm not in the majority based on Goodreads reviews) but I prefer this book to Berry's second collection, and would start with this if you're new to her work.
Sep 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
Favorites were “A Short Guide to Corseting”, “Questions I Wanted to Ask You in the Swimming Pool”, “The Numbers Game”, The Descent”, and “Bad News Government”.
Elancharan Gunasekaran
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Mad collection with teasers of intimacy and playful verse.
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Exactly what I needed to read.
Cat Ryoo
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
favourite poems: when will you carry me to the fair, questions i wanted to ask you in the swimming pool, her inheritance.
Frey Frey
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Bought and read this on my trip to Paris, manly read it on the underground.
First time I'm really reading poems, I am intrigued.
Lydia Barnes
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very enjoyable indeed
Jul 10, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5, rounded to 4 because stranger baby was so brilliant and i started off with that (this one being her debut, was never going to beat it)
Aisling Hamill
Nov 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
I can't remember where I heard this but somebody suggested to me at some point that in order to improve my own writing I should try to read more poetry, because poets tended in general to be more experimental than prose writers and novelists.

Thus, 'Dear Boy' has been my introduction to poetry outside the classroom. Before this, my poetry experience was limited to that provided by school, so I'm certainly glad I started my independent reading of poetry with collection.

If I
Jude Brigley
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this collection.
Jennifer Wiget
Sep 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
this just wasn't for me. it just wasn't my style of poetry and writing. the poems didn't really speak to me and i didn't really feel/understand them. i could see the beauty in a few lines but all in all it just wasn't for me.
Callum McAllister
Oct 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Funny and charming. Definitely going to look out for her work in the future.
Mar 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this one, the poems are fantastic!
My favourite line: "I tramp through the definition of absence looking for a place to rest". From Zanzibar, p.47

Absolute lucky find!
Jul 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
4.5 stars actually, near perfection.
Stephanie Embry
Dec 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely lovely. Emily Berry's way with words is breathtaking at times. I would highly recommend this to any lover of poetry.
Aug 21, 2016 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Noura by: Basma
I don't know how I feel about this book... It kept fluctuating between a 2.5 and 3 star read but never settling for either.
Hannah (The_Book_Pond)
This is my first collection of poems I've completed and I honestly don't know how I could give it a star rating. There were some poems I honestly did not understand and some that hit a part of my soul; so giving it a star rating seems a bit dishonest to me. My favorite poems were: Letter to Husband; A Short Guide to Corseting; The House by the Railroad; The Way You Do at the End of Plays; Shriek; London Love Song; Love Bird; Questions I Wanted to Ask You in the Swimming Pool; The Numbers Game. ...more
Apr 01, 2017 added it
Shelves: poetry

It is really frustrating when you read poetry and you can't really grasp what the author is trying to say because it doesn't speak to you at all. This is the case for this collection.
Oct 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Very subtle touch- her observations are great!
Feb 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
'Every time I think a new thought I can smell an old one burning'
Jul 30, 2017 added it
Shelves: poetry, british
British poet. A slim volume, I'd like to read again already. (can you tel I don't know how to talk about poetry)
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Emily Berry is a poet, writer and editor. She grew up in London and studied English Literature at Leeds University and Creative Writing at Goldsmiths College. Her debut poetry collection Dear Boy won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and the Hawthornden Prize. She is a contributor to The Breakfast Bible, a compendium of breakfasts, and is currently working towards a PhD in Creative and Critical W ...more
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“I have cried your name in every possible colour” 3 likes
“Every time I think a new thought I can smell an old one burning” 0 likes
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