Jennifer's Reviews > The Nation's Favourite Poems: Book 1

The Nation's Favourite Poems by Griff Rhys Jones
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's review
Feb 11, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: poetry, read-2012

I am aiming to read a lot more poetry in 2012, so where better to start the year's campaign than with The Nation's Favourite Poems? (albeit the Nation's Favourite Poems back in 1995) The poem I generally describe as my own favourite does not appear in this top 100 (nor did I vote at the time) but I suspect some of the complex reasons for its status are similar to the reasons for other people's choices (I would be interested to know how many were first encountered at school)

It is quite a varied collection - I didn't find it all accessible for instance. And they don't all rhyme, although the majority do have a powerful rhythm. Apparently Rudyard Kipling's "If" not only won but came way, way out in front, despite the poet's personal reputation still being down at the time. Griff Rhys Jones provides a good brief introduction and I would agree with him that the majority of the poems do have a wistful, yearning note. Certainly reading this volume triggered a whole raft of memories and yet felt much better than a guilty wallow in nostalgia.

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