Happy Poems


Happy Poems promises to be an ‘inspiring collection of poems to brighten your days.’ Yet, this collection is more than that. It includes poems that offer a personification of happiness such as Chrissie Gittins’ ‘Beetroot’- ‘The beetroot is a bossy veg,/ inside it’s deep maroon,// it comes into your kitchen/ and paints the entire room.’ There are poems that work toward explaining the feeling of happiness, like Carol Ann Duffy’s ‘The Look’- ‘… The whale is the look of the ocean,/ The grave is the look of the dead./ The wheel is ht look of motion./ Blood is the look of red…..

There are loud, declarative poems with which we are familiar that make us feel happy, like Kenneth Grahame’s ‘Song of Mr Toad’ from ‘The Wind in the Willows’. Then there are the quiet, knowing poems that suggest a mature, contemplative contentment, like Steve Turner’s ‘Roots’– ‘… without us/ the ground would crumble./ Without us/ life would fall.’ 

Happy Poems is a confident, fulsome, encompassing selection that sums up yet goes beyond its theme. Bookwagon suggests this poetry book is an essential choice for home and school.

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Happy Poems

chosen by Roger McGough

(Pan Macmillan)

‘Today will be humorous/ With some sunny patches….‘ begins Liz Cowling’s ‘Laughter Forecast‘ in Happy Poems. This is an opening poem in a superb collection of poetry amassed by Roger McGough. What about ‘High Achievers‘ by Kate O’Neal- ”They thought we wouldn’t make it but/ they let us go along/ and we showed them, yes we showed them they/ were wrong! wrong! wrong! ‘ Or maybe you could consider William Blake’s ‘To See a World’– ‘To see a world in a grain of sand/ And heaven in a wild flower./ Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand/ And Eternity in an hour.’ 
Happiness is a huge concept from what makes us happy, to working to attain happiness and the state of bliss itself. Accordingly, Roger McGough’s selection is vast and various. Furthermore, it includes poetry from ages past to present day. In addition there are many styles of poetry including a range of devices. We have poetry from Scotland as in Louise Grieg’s ‘A Memory- ‘Wood holds a memory of tree/ The world holds a memory of ME’ to Spain’s glorious Lorca, with ‘The Six Strings’- ‘The guitar/ makes dreams weep./ The sobbing of lost souls/ escapes from/ its open mouth…’ 
Happy Poems is a necessary collection for home and school. It offers poems to dip into, to inspire, take solace from, learn and realise. Bookwagon is proud to recommend this title.


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