Poems to Fall in Love With


Oh the sisters of mercy, they are not departed or gone….’ begins Leonard Cohen’s poem. It is just one of a superb selection of works within Chris Riddell’s Poems to Fall in Love With. Other song lyrics, include those by Nick Cave. Meanwhile Shakespeare’s ‘If I profane with my unworthiest hand‘ from Romeo and Juliet, is featured, alongside other classic works from John Keats, W.B. Yeats, Byron, Shelley and Rossetti, amongst others.

These are poems to linger over and cherish. Hollie McNish’s ‘Like Otters’-  ‘… like otters, together. your hand warm in mine’ is a tacit human understanding. Meanwhile, A.F. Harrold’s ‘The Taste of a Biscuit’  remembers his mother, ‘still it was nice to know she was always there, just in case‘ stirs sympathy and memories.

Chris Riddell’s illustrations are rich and empathetic, adding to the meaningfulness of a beautiful book. Bookwagon recommends Poems to Fall in Love With to all reading households.

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Poems to Fall in Love With

Chosen and Illustrated by Chris Riddell

(Pan Macmillan)

Chris Riddell offers Poems to Fall in Love With, a follow up to his hugely successful Poems to Live Your Life By. The selection is organised through themes, beginning with ‘Love and Friendship‘ and followed by poems around ‘Beginning’. Amongst these are classics, such as John Keats’ ‘La Belle Dame sans Merci’ and ‘The Indian Serenade‘ by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Yet, there are newer works, like Neil Gaiman’s  tear- springing, ‘Locks’– ‘We owe it to each other to tell stories,/as people simply, not as father and daughter,/ I tell it to you for the hundredth time:
Thereafter, Chris Riddell  selects poems grouped under the umbrellas of ‘Valentine‘ and ‘Let’s Stick Together’, before concluding with works around the concept of ‘My Life Closed Twice‘. I love the broad mix of titles within each section, alongside the fact that these poems challenge and linger. For example, a work such as Nick Cave’s ‘Into My Arms’ resonates with devotion. After that, a poem such as ‘If You Are an Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh‘ by Hera Lindsay Bird, pulsates with curious, passionate images.
This is an exceptional collection that this Bookwagon bookseller has bought for family and friends.



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