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Ten Poems to Change Your Life Again and Again

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  193 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Every great poem invites us to step beyond what we know, what we think we can dream or dare. Great poetry is a catalyst for change: a change of mind, a change of heart, a change of life- and yes, over and over, again and again, with each new reading, and each new phase of our journey.

That’s why poetry is dangerous. It gives voice to our unspoken dreams; it is a mirror to o
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published November 27th 2007 by Harmony
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Sep 19, 2013 rated it liked it
I have to give Housden props: he took a poem I didn’t feel at all, and after I read his explanation, I read it again, and cried. He essentially opened my heart to it, and made it accessible to me. He has such a talent for that, and he is able to be so honest and raw about his own experiences and share them. Sometimes I felt he was so egotistical, and narcissistic, and it is hard to trust a man who over and over again “falls in love” with married women, and then he startles me with his warmth and ...more
Feb 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Ten candles burning in the darkness - ten poems that spread a little hope for our eyes to see better, for our heart to find the love resonating rhythm, for our mind to penetrate deeper obscure meanings, and for our spirit to breathe and survive.

I followed Rilke's pathway towards the acceptance of change, and I've seen the ugliness of fear dissipating when we let our senses feel the vibration of beauty given by the next moment. I read Whyte's poem, and I let my thoughts run towards the ones who
Christy Baker
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry
While the concept of reflecting on poetry via essay as it applies to one's own life was intriguing and the poems themselves a nice mix, I found that I often didn't resonate with the personal experiences and feelings conveyed in the essays. I've not read other books in what is apparently a series of these done by Housden. More critically, from the introduction onward, I was startled out of reading several times by Christian hegemony and instances of anti-Arabic and anti-Muslim statements, sometim ...more
Dec 24, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed a couple of the selections here, but I did not much appreciate the exposition written about each selection. Not that the writing or analysis was bad per se... it just wasn't for me, giving me flashbacks to high school AP English classes in which one is forced to write a certain number of words analyzing one poem or another. It's strange that the author's analyses produced this reaction, given how passionate and alive he seems to feel about poetry itself.

The one exception is the analys
Jamie Bacigalupo
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Why don't I read poetry every day? I wrapped myself up in the poems in this book. They seemed to give my soul something I did not even know it was seeking. And it is no surprise that Gram gifted me the book this summer. I wanted to share dozens of lines with all of you as I read. I hope you'll simply pick up the book yourself, and climb into the souls of them too.
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, poetry
Roger Housden does an excellent job in selecting poetry that is beautiful and relevant. His short essays on each of the ten poems are. simply elegant! I highly recommend this book.
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another good addition to Housden's 10 poems series. After reading the book, I went back and re-read all of the poems. I love how reading Housden's essays deepens the poems and takes a nugget of them and sets them with me.
Faye Powell
Dec 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is the first of Roger Housden's poetry anthologies that I have read, but I am eager to check out others. He introduced me to poets with whom I was not familiar and that I am eager to delve deeper into. What more can you ask of a collection of ten poems? Some of the essays that accompany each poem touch on very personal details of Housden's life (e.g., Jane Hirshfield's "Each moment a white bull steps shining into the world"), and others illuminate poems by describing the context in which th ...more
Oct 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is the first of the Housden "ten poems" books that I've read and I love his adaptation of the poems meanings to his own life, but also the possibilities of guidance and inspiration these poems and the art of poetry can bring to the reader. For example, the idea that without sorrow there cannot be joy, that we must risk delight gained from "A Brief for the Defense" and that those everyday inconveniences are a part of living and life itself should be cherished, that it's life's journey that c ...more
Jun 13, 2009 rated it it was ok
Housden added this fifth book to his series after assuring the readers that the fourth was the last and that was all he had to say. Then his marriage to the love of his life broke up and, apparently, he needed to talk about it - at length. The original concept of taking powerful, mostly contemporary, yet simple poems and reflecting on them, adding in a bit of how they affected his life, or were illustrated by events in his own life, was a good one. However, in this book, it's both a stretch and ...more
Hazel Elizabeth
Dec 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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.)

Oct 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Another deep breath of fresh air for the soul from Roger Housden. I think I enjoy beautiful poetry even more when they are essayed afterward. The discussion after each poem makes you truly understand and come to appreciate each line and meaning that the poem is portraying. Sure, poetry is beautiful and we can agree that certain poems are better than others, which is why Roger has carefully selected ten poems, in each book of his series, ripe for reflecting upon. I appreciate these kinds of books ...more
Jan 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Like all of Roger Housden's 10 Poems series, this book delights the mind and soul and if you let it...enlightens. This series included poems by classical poets Rumi and Hafiz as well as a gem by Leonard Cohen...lyricist extraordinaire. I love how Housden guides you through the sometimes murky waters of poetry to enable you to truly engage in this important art form. I would HIGHLY recommend any one or better yet, ALL, of the Ten Poems books.
Feb 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Aunt Ginny, my sister, my mom, anyone who wants to like poetry
I very much enjoyed the first book of poems to change your life, but I found the sequel spoke to me even more. I felt an obvious connection to several of the poems immediately upon reading, while with others, I needed the commentary by Roger Housden to bring out the passion and various interpretations of the poem. However, even for the poems I enjoyed, Housden's insight lends remarkable insight, brings incredible richness, to the point that I truly feel enlightened after reading it.
Laura-nassidesa Eschbaugh
The first selection is worth keeping the book, a little self absorbed in reflections, overall commentary is helpful. The poems selected are, ones I will treasure. The comments and critique of the author are, personal and unprofessional. I bought the book for the poems not to become involved in the authors history
Apr 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Housden not only picks great poems, with varied styles, from varied cultures, he also writes great essays that explain, extend, and expose all there is to think about the poems. I always come away with a favorite poem from the collections, and wanting to read more poetry.
Aug 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I loved this book. Housden selected some beautiful poems, and paired them with personal and deeply insightful discussions. This would be a good introduction for anyone who is nervous about getting into poetry or doesn't feel like they "get" poetry. Very accessible.
Jun 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Really liked the poems (particularly Ellen Bass's "Gate C22", which is an old favourite, and Hafiz's "With That Moon Language", which is a new one). I enjoyed some of his essays, but found them to be draggy and uninteresting at times.
Jun 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
I found my all-time favorite poem here; The Journey by Mary Oliver. I don't love all 10 of the poems, but I enjoyed that it went beyond sharing the poems to unveil some of the depth that one might miss.
Feb 20, 2009 is currently reading it
Beautifully written. The author discusses poems which have meaning to him, includes his own experience, and insights. I'm learning how to explore poetry in a way that allows me an emotional experience more profound than before
Jan 03, 2010 marked it as to-read
Shelves: own-it
12/09 Birthday present from Mom
Jan 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book for my oldest sister's 59th birthday and bought a copy for myself. My favorite - "Each Moment a White Bull Steps Shining . . ." Highly recommend.
Aug 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
Yes, there are only 10 poems in this book, but they're good ones, and I love the short essays the editor has included.
Dec 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Ten poems, ten reflections. Excellent--got me started reading and writing poetry regularly.
Nov 02, 2015 rated it did not like it
Constantly speaking of "happiness" as if it's a neutral state of being. Boring analyses.
Feb 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
More life changes....I have lent it out now, but will finish reading later
Mar 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
I've read this book a number of times, and while these poems didn't necessarily change my life (once or again), they are still inspiring and thought-provoking.
Feb 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Thank you Sharon for putting me on to this author!
Oct 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Another wonderful collection of poems and essays.
rated it liked it
Mar 31, 2010
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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.