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Stressed, Unstressed: Classic Poems to Ease the Mind

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  188 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Can you be re-lit by poetry? This little book offers everyone one of the oldest of all remedies for stress: the reading of poetry.

Intended to help you endure some of your stressful moments and painful experiences, these poems tell us we are not alone. Again and again over the centuries great poets return to love and death and memory – remembrance of childhood joy, of happy
Hardcover, 215 pages
Published January 14th 2016 by William Collins
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Kris - My Novelesque Life
2016; William Collins/Harper Collins

I have always loved reading poetry, especially classic poetry. I love the flow, imagery and words of poetry. I find that as I read them it is a way to calm my anxiety. It calms my worries more than my fears. It is a way for me to get grounded. As I learn more about myself through counseling, books and writing I am getting a better handle on what keeps me going. I requested this book in order to read cool poetry and instead I learned more about
May 24, 2017 rated it liked it
I had purchased this book a while back, but can finally say I have completed it. I was intrigued by the concept -- classic poems that ease or calm the mind. Jonathan Bate is one of the editors and I have always admired his work.

I think the poems generally are fairly standard. You have a good selection here. William Blake, John Donne, George Herbert, John Keats, Gerald Manley-Hopkins -- these poets seems to have the most selections. My favorite poem was a very short one by the former Poet Laureat
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, paused
I thoroughly enjoyed this collection and the way it is structured. Must finish the course that the book was based on. This is one I will continue to dip in and out of for many years.
Mar 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
As a fairly recent explorer of poetry and as a non-native English speaker, this was my biggest introduction to English poetry. I think the concept of this anthology is great, I'm just not sure if it worked for me. Maybe it's because I didn't read the poems out loud, so they didn't have the calming effect on me they were 'supposed' to have. Nevertheless, I loved the majority of the poems and they introduced me to different poets and for that reason I'm glad I got to read this (thanks to my friend ...more
Aug 18, 2017 rated it liked it
A very nice idea for an anthology and reasonably well-executed, but I wish there were more diversity and more poems by people of color. There are a few, but not enough, in my opinion.
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really love the concept of this book and I found it very helpful. A variety of various poems to help you unstress and fill your mind with positive thoughts. This was a great read and really made me feel better after I read it! I was sent this book by the publisher Harper 360 for a fair and honest review. Highly recommended!
Sophie Gaft
Mar 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some really good poems! I like that they were sorted into "chapters/feelings" but I did feel like some of them didn't belong to where they were placed. I suppose everyone reads a poem differently.
I was elated to read some familiar work, and even the familiarity calmed me down, so the book did what it said it would do on the cover.
I also discovered some beautiful poems that I'd never read before, which was lovely.
Definitely worth a read if you need to take a few moments out of your day to clear y
D.A. Brown
Meh. Perhaps I'm not in the right mood for this kind of poetry. I took the excellent MOOC course about literature and mental health (future learn?) and this book is the outcome of that. It doesn't glimmer the way the poems and segments of writing did in the course. Perhaps I need to read them out loud. ...more
Aug 04, 2018 added it
Ludmila Marton
May 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
3.5 stars. It is really hard to rate this, because despite of peaceful title, lot of the poems were quite depressing, which in my case might lead to stress. Poems with difficult topics might be catharsic (that's the reason they were there), but that's only 50/50 chance. Also the poems were selected into categories, which can be tricky because perception of poem is so personal.
Although lots of poems were great, I didn't get what I expected (I didn't really get that unstressed); that might have i
Little Red
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Having completed a Future learn course looking at Literature and Mental Health led by the compilers of this anthology, I was interested in furthering my understanding. This anthology was perfect. It embraces mindfulness through the reading of poetry and the careful selection of poems covers twelve themes which can be challenging life events. The introduction to each theme gave further insight into the lines, phrases or contexts of the poems, enhancing the practise further. A must-have companion ...more
Pam Cummins
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a lovely book which has sections such as ‘meditating ‘, ‘releasing ‘ and ‘positive thinking’. Some of the poems were known to me and I also enjoyed reading new to me ones. Something to keep and dip into when you need to practice a bit of self-care.
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
And breathe...

Lovely book to keep coming back to whenever you need a little pick me up. A few poems are a bit old-timey, and I don't really connect with them, but there's such a wide range that's not an issue - every time I pick it up I seem to find a new poem
Mollie Connelly-MacNeill
May 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Stellar concept and execution. Reading poems as therapy is a beautiful and life-giving experience.
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
A slightly slow read, but still had a calming effect as promised.
Mar 23, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Read this for work. The selection of poems is excellent (if very dead-white-man heavy), but I did not enjoy the neoliberal approach to mental health (sprinkled with orientalism for good measure).
Mar 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
Nice collection of poems
Tahieuba Latif
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some really good poems that come under specific emotions we as humans go through. Great for those needing a boost in their lives.
Jardin Telling
Dec 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 / 5 stars - some beautiful imagery in here. At times the introductions to the chapters were a bit too wordy, but I greatly enjoyed the message portrayed by the works in each section overall.
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read
Dec 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
enjoyed reading this book while listening to the violin melodies.
Leonard Singer
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Would be 5 stars if had some commentary to guide reader through some of the more difficult poems.
Judith Munroe
Feb 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A friend sent me this book and it is a little treasure. It has many well known poems and some not so well known, and applies some of the principles of mindulness to reading poetry. It is the sort of book to dip in and out of, and I am sure it will be one I will return to again and again.
Chris Campbell
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If someone were to ask you 'why do people read poetry', you could do a lot worse than to shove this book into their hands. ...more
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Dec 31, 2016
Samuel Mitchell
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Feb 13, 2018
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Jan 05, 2019
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Goodreads Librari...: Please add publication date 2 11 Dec 28, 2017 11:41AM  

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Jonathan Bate CBE FBA FRSL is a British academic, biographer, critic, broadcaster, novelist and scholar of Shakespeare, Romanticism and Ecocriticism. He is also Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford and Provost of Worcester College, Oxford. A Man Booker Prize judge in 2014.

He studied at the University of Cambridge and Harvard University. He has been King Alfred Professor of E

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