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Gold from the Stone: New and Selected Poems (Canons)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  136 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Lemn Sissay was seventeen when he wrote his first poetry book, which he hand-sold to the miners and mill workers of Wigan. Since then his poems have become landmarks, sculpted in granite and built from concrete, recorded on era-defining albums and declaimed in over twenty countries.

He has performed to thousands of football fans at the FA Cup Final, to hundreds of thousands
Kindle Edition, 241 pages
Published August 25th 2016 by Canongate Books
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"Let me get it right. What if we got it wrong?
What if we weakened ourselves getting strong?
What if we found in the ground a vial of proof?
What if the foundations missed a vital truth?

What if the industrial dream sold us out from within?
What if our impenetrable defence sealed us in?
What if our wanting more was making less?
And what if all of this... it wasn´t progress?"
Mary Arkless
I had never really noticed Lemn Sissay before. Perhaps that is because I'm not much into poetry, perhaps because I moved to the UK in 1999. I saw an interview with him on BBC Breakfast about his book, "My Name is Why". I read that and wanted to read more of his poetry, so borrowed this from the library.

I think there will be something here that would speak to any one. I noticed, though, while working my way through this book, that reading poetry makes me tired. Is that just me? Is it because poet
Harriet Mumford
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My Mum got me this poetry collection for Christmas as I’ve been super keen to find more poetry that I enjoy. Lemn Sissay’s work is bold and personal, commenting on race, the government, social services, relationships and much, much more – it is filled with rage, humour, sadness and love.

After reading this collection I went on to watch countless YouTube videos of Lemn reading them – his performances breathed endless life into the words, so strong and powerful. My favourite from the collection was
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such a fantastic collection of Lemn Sissy’s poetry. There are some real gems in here that I’m sure I will return to again and again. There are poems on political issues (race, immigration and equality), poems on love, on life, on writing, on childhood, on women and mothers, and there are some more humorous ones. Basically there is a poem for everyone, for whatever you need poetry for. I urge you to read this.
Natalie Wakes
Aug 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
Brilliant! Best poetry collection I've read so far.

In particular:
Invisible Kisses
Immigration R.S.V.P
A Flock of Sound
Quiet Places
Let There Be Peace
The Actor's Voice
Elephant in the Room
What If

I've probably missed some but I'm sure I will be rereading for the rest of my life, so will try to update.
Katrine Solvaag
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So many precious gems of poems which I can’t wait to re-read and fall in love with all over again.
It was way past time to read a volume of poetry by the man I voted for as Chancellor of my alma mater. He has an astonishing life history and I was pleased with the introduction to the book which describes this with some additional features I'd not previously known. One is thus well prepared for the anger to follow. He's a declamatory poet, a poet for carving lines in public buildings and incorporating into public art works. He describes criticism of his early works as like criticism of his fami ...more
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this. Lemn Sissay has a great lyrical style - a lot of these poems kind of read like song lyrics. His writing is so heartfelt and passionate. A lot of his poems (especially the earlier ones) are full of anger (quite rightly) about his childhood and his experiences in the care system and of racism. He also writes about relationships (of course he does he's a poet), Manchester, climate change, and shooting magpies. A hugely enjoyable collection.
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Each day I wake up to read one of his poems, like a splash of fresh water on my face. Some of them give me goosebumps, some of them make me cry, and some of them stir the anger in me for the battles he's had to fight. Each night I fall asleep with one of his poems on my pillow, the soft patter of words sending me to a world of dreams where the letters mingle into the patterns on pages of gold.

Sarah Hobbs
After reading the Gold from the Stone by Lemn Sissay I believe that I have gotten to know this poet extremely well.

This is the first body of work I have read of Mr Sissay, ad I liked it - very much.

Click here for my full review...
Aug 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lemn has an ethereal gift for turning immeasurable pain into awe inspiring poetry. The human condition means we will all feel hurt, love, loss, rejection and we can all relate to Lemn's ability to fine tune these emotions and pour them into beautifully crafted poems. Words are powerful, Lemn's words can connect us all.
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful collection of Lemon Sissays poetry. I even bought a second copy, so I could remove 'Love Poem' and frame it on my bedroom wall.
May 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Fantastic collection, my favourites were Applecart Art and The Actor's Voice
Anthony Frobisher
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Powerful and evocative. Lemn Sissay is a voice we should all listen to. The poems in this collection are thought provoking and astonishing in their construction. A superb collection.
Sep 06, 2016 rated it liked it
My first time reading Sissay poetry and I'm not sure what I thought. I liked some of the poems but they didn't WOW me. I didn't feel a connection.
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Lemn Sissay MBE (born 21 May 1967), is a British author and broadcaster.

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“Some people on bus seats shake at the shoulders,
Stoned Elvises trying to dance after the gig.

Some walk into the rain and look like they’re smiling,
Running mascara writes sad bitter letters on their faces.

Some drive their cars into lay-bys or park edges
And cradle the steering-wheel looking like headless drivers.

Some sink their open mouths into feather pillows
And tremble on the bed like beached dolphins.

Some people are bent as question marks when they weep
And some are straight as exclamation marks.

Some are soaking in emotional dew when they wake,
Salt street maps etched into their faces.

Some find rooms and fall to the floor as if praying to Allah.
Faces contorted in that silent scream that seems like laughter.

Why is there not a tissue-giver? A man who looks for tears,
Who makes the finest silk tissues and offers them for free?

It seems to me that around each corner, beneath each stone,
Are humans quietly looking for a place to cry on their own.”
More quotes…