Poetry Review: Being Human

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BEING HUMAN
BLOODAXE BOOKS (PAPERBACK), 2011
512 PAGES

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE

AMAZON (UK)

AMAZON.COM

WHAT IT’S ABOUT 

The companion anthology to “Staying Alive” and “Being Alive”. “Being Human” is the third book in the “Staying Alive” poetry trilogy. “Staying Alive” and its sequel “Being Alive” have introduced many thousands of new readers to contemporary poetry. “Being Human” is a companion volume to those two books – a world poetry anthology offering an even broader, international selection of “real poems for unreal times”. The range of poetry here complements that of the first two anthologies: hundreds of thoughtful and passionate poems about living in the modern world; poems that touch the heart, stir the mind and fire the spirit; poems about being human, about love and loss, fear and longing, hurt and wonder. There are more great poems from the 20th century as well as many recent poems of rare imaginative power from the first decade of the 21st century. But this book is also rare in reflecting the concerns of readers from all walks of life. Such has been the appeal of “Staying Alive” and “Being Alive” that many people have written not only to express their appreciation of these books, but also to share poems which have been important in their own lives. “Being Human” draws on this highly unusual publisher’s mailbag, including many talismanic personal survival poems suggested by our readers.

EXTRACT

from Shape Of Time
by Doris Kareva

You aren’t better than anyone.
You aren’t worse than anyone.
You have been given the world.
See what there is to see.

WHAT I THOUGHT

Being Human is a great collection of contemporary poems. Bloodaxe Books are one of my favourite poetry publishers. I’ve got a copy of this collections companion collections, Staying Alive and Being Alive (Staying Alive is the best). Together the three books create a brilliant example of contemporary poetry. Being Alive is the kind of poetry collection you can dip into again and again. You can read it through in its entirety like I did and then dip into it when needs must. The collection is divided into themed sections (i.e. the stuff of life, life history and about time) which make it easy to navigate.  I enjoyed so many of the hundreds of poems in this volume. Some of the bests featured are T.S Eliot, Jane Hirschfield, Galway Kinnell, Helen Dunmore, Kathleen Jamie and Sharon Olds. Being Alive is a treasure trove of poetry greats.

RATING

4 STAR RATING

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