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Hello dVerse Poets. I’m Kim of writinginnorthnorfolk.com. Welcome to Tuesday Poetics.

I have an anthology, edited by Daisy Goodwin, entitled 101 Poems That Could Save Your Life, subtitled ‘An Anthology of Emotional First Aid’. It’s a great little book that has been very useful on a number of occasions when I’ve been looking for the right words.Poems that could save your life

The foreword on the inside cover will give you a good idea of what’s in it:

‘Prozac has side effects, drink gives you hangovers, therapy’s too expensive; for a quick and effective relief for all your emotional ailments try a poem – for however bad it is some poet will have been there too.

This is the first poetry anthology designed for the self-help generation. Look up your problem in the emotional index, which has entries ranging from ‘Bad Hair Day’ to ‘Is This Relationship Going Anywhere?’, ‘First Wrinkle’ to ‘Bereavement, ‘Career Crisis’ to ‘Redundancy’ and a whole section of ‘Instant Moral Fibre’. The prescribed poems include classics by Emily Dickinson and Lord Byron and previously unpublished works by contemporary poets like Wendy Cope. The book has a cure or at least a consolation for every modern misery, and no side effects.’  

Daisy explains it all in a lot more detail in the introduction, which is far too long to reproduce here, but I think you get the picture!

I have two favourites in this anthology. The first, by Fleur Adcock, is in the section ‘First Wrinkle’ and you can find it by following this link: http://gladdestthing.com/poems/kissing

The second is in the section ‘Is this the real Thing?’ It’s ‘Giving Up Smoking’ by Wendy Cope, who I met once, briefly entertained before a poetry reading, and with whom I supervised an interview by high school students for a school magazine: https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/giving-up-smoking/

The challenge is to write a poem to save someone’s life on one of the following themes:

apologies  –  bad hair day  –  bereavement  –  big decision  –  birthday blues  –  career crisis  –  commitment problems  –  divorce  –  does my bottom look big in this?  –  don’t let the bastards get you down  –  first date  –  first wrinkle  –  friendship  –  getting married  – hangover  –  illness  –  insomnia  –  is this relationship going anywhere?  –  is this the real thing?  –  Monday morning  –  money worries  –  moving house  –  parenthood  –  playing away  –  retail therapy  –  rock bottom  –  stressed out  – successfully single  –  when your lover has gone

If you are new, here’s how to join in:

  • Write a poem in response to the challenge;
  • Enter a link directly to your poem and your name by clicking Mr Linky below;
  • There you will find links to other poets, and more will join so check back to see more poems;
  • Read and comment on other poet’s work, we all come here to have our poems read;
  • Please link back to dVerse from your site/blog;
  • Comment and participate in our discussion below, if you like.   We are a friendly bunch of poets.
  • Have fun.

I’m hoping for some much needed emotional first aid – and not just for me!