Poems to Save the World With


Chris Riddell adds a third title to his Poems to series with Poems to Save the World With. His selections are included within enigmatically grouped sections including,  ‘Oh I Have Slipped the Surly Bonds of Earth‘ and ‘The Elephant in the Room’. Thereafter, the works span ages, emotions, themes, forms and familiarity.

Therefore, we luxuriate within the wonder of ‘The Lake Isle of Innisfree‘ and ‘There is Not Frigate Like a Book‘ after smiling through the heart beats of Ramond Antrobus’ ‘Happy Birthday Moon‘ or Neil Gaiman’s ‘What You Need to Be Warm’..

Every work needs to be taken time over and shared, not just because of the weight of the words, but because of the way it’s been formed and presented by Chris Riddell. His imagining of Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘The Land of Counterpane’ is every thread of superb.

I love the rich variety, the passion and sympathy. Many works made me laugh, like ‘In Case of Fire’ by Roger McGough, while others, like Luke Kennard’s ‘Crow Baby‘, moved me to tears.

Poems to Save the World With is an essential book for home. It deserves reading, knowing, gifting and treasuring.

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Poems to Save the World With

Chosen and Illustrated by Chris Riddell

(Pan Macmillan)– hardback

Poems to Save the World With is an ambitious title. Yet we know how poetry confers meaning and empathy to our lives in times of confusion change and adversity. Therefore, the works Chris Riddell has chosen may have a tall task, yet they have great intentions and within their wide, varied and ambitious reach, inform, inspire, comfort and cheer.
Chris Riddell organises his collection into themes including Everything Is Going to Be OK, The Elephant in the Room and Lockdown. As with his earlier collections,  Poems to Live Your Life By and Poems to Fall in Love With, Chris Riddell includes classic works. Thereafter, he includes works by newer, less familiar poets like Nikita Gill. She offers two poems, including  Love in the Time of Coronavirus– ‘My cousin told me she hadn’t seen/ such a blue sky in her city before./ My uncle went on his first walk in the woods./ He heard a bird sing for the first time since he went to war.’
There is a wide variety of poetic forms and subjects too, yet each is created with a view of observation, compassion, need and answers.
I have read through Poems to Save the World With a number of times. Furthermore, I’ve felt the need to share poems included here  by reading them aloud at Bookwagon HQ or quoting them. This is a meaningful, necessary collection. Bookwagon recommends it highly for home and school bookshelves.


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