Poems to Live Your Life By


Former children’s laureate and award- winning picture book maker, Chris Riddell has created his personal collection of poetry in Poems to Live Your Life By. His choices contemplate love, death, family, nature and war. It seems these are works that document each step we take, from heartbreak to huge joy, loss to success. Then again, we realise the strength and diversity in the writer/ illustrator’s choices, from new works to classic, free verse to odes.

Bookwagon considers that Poems to Live Your Life By is a poetry selection ideal to gift, treasure and know well. This is a ‘forever’ selection.

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Poems to Live Your Life By

Chosen and illustrated by Chris Riddell

(Pan Macmillan)

Poems to Live Your Life By is a collection of poetry selected by former children’s laureate, and picture maker, Chris Riddell. It seems as though his selections considers life, war, nature, musings and death, amongst other topics. These are the real topics of living, that everyone contemplates along their journey.
Then again, he works range from the traditional like John Masefield’s ‘Cargoes‘ to newer creations, as ‘Thirteen‘ by Kate Tempest. What’s more, there are works by poets from all over the world. There are internal viewings alongside great narratives, as John Keats’ ‘Ode to a Nightingale‘ alongside ‘Orphee‘ by Neil Gaiman. We recall that these two titans of literature have collaborated upon works such as Odd and the Frost Giants.
Chris Riddell’s illustrations offer something extra. Somehow the contemplation of the words has a greater depth with his illustrations whether it be ‘Whitsun Weddings’ where we sight Philip Larkin’s contemplation of the experience, or the comparisons offered by A.F. Harold in ‘I Miss You’.
‘Poems to Live Your Life By’ is an outstanding poetry compilation. It is my selection for a special September birthday. Another copy resides in our home.


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