Review: A Poem for Every Day of the Year (edited) by Allie Esiri - 8/10*
After reading A Poem for Every Night of the Year I pretty much fell into this.
For those who do not read much poetry, for those who do not know where to start, this is a fun and easy commitment to take on. Reading a poem a day does not take long, mere minutes, and with over three-hundred poems in here there's bound to be a poem that speaks to each reader directly. I broke the rule though and read it all at once.
Allie Esiri has put together a really strong collection. The poems match the time of the year with the themes reflecting the seasons and its associated mood. This is especially so during the December part of the book with many festive pieces being used. She has also used many extracts from larger works to give a taste of longer more developed poetry throughout, which I think is very important because many of the major poetical works in the English language are thousands and thousands of lines long. Short poems are more accessible, but longer ones often carry much more with them.
Particular favourites of mine included Love's Philosophy by Percy Shelley, The Buddha by Tony Mitton and the very famous The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost. There's also an excellent extract from Shakespeare's The Tempest, which in itself is a play of pure poetry. As such the poems are rich in diversity and carry with them varying degrees of complexity. Although published by Macmillan Children's Books, I think this collection is more suited to an adult reader. There are, certainly, poems in here that a young reader may enjoy, but I think an adult would get more out of poems that deal with larger issues such as love, death and life.
Before each poem is a short introduction to briefly situate the poem into its context. These are helpful and informative, and for the inexperienced reader these would act as a guide through many different styles of poetry from a huge array of writers. The cover art is, simply put, stunning. I love the design. The book acts as a sister book to the previously published A Poem for Every Night of the Year with brighter colours used to reflect the day time this time. The layout is also very simple making the book easy to dive in and out of.
All in all, it's a well thought out collection. I think this book would make an ideal gift for someone at Christmas or perhaps someone recently beginning an English literature qualification or a writing based project.