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Poems That Make Grown Men Cry: 100 Men on the Words That Move Them [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Anthony Holden , Ben Holden

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1. April 2014
Grown men don’t cry.

But in this fascinating anthology, one hundred men—distinguished in literature and film, science and architecture, theater and human rights—confess to being moved to tears by poems that continue to haunt them. Representing twenty nationalities and ranging in age from their early 20s to their late 80s, the majority are public figures not prone to crying. Here they admit to breaking down when ambushed by great art, often in words as powerful as the poems themselves.

Their selections include classics by visionaries such as Walt Whitman, W.H Auden, and Philip Larkin, as well as contemporary works by masters including Billy Collins, Seamus Heaney, Derek Walcott, and poets who span the globe from Pablo Neruda to Rabindranath Tagore.

Seventy-five percent of the selected poems were written in the twentieth century, with more than a dozen by women including Mary Oliver, Elizabeth Bishop, and Gwendolyn Brooks. Their themes range from love in its many guises, through mortality and loss, to the beauty and variety of nature. Three men have suffered the pain of losing a child; others are moved to tears by the exquisite way a poet captures, in Alexander Pope’s famous phrase, “what oft was thought, but ne’er so well express’d.

From J. J. Abrams to John le Carré, Salman Rushdie to Jonathan Franzen, Daniel Radcliffe to Nick Cave, Billy Collins to Stephen Fry, Stanley Tucci to Colin Firth, and Seamus Heaney to Christopher Hitchens, this collection delivers private insight into the souls of men whose writing, acting, and thinking are admired around the world.

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“The Holdens remind us that you don't have to be an academic or a postgraduate in creative writing to be moved by verse…I defy anyone not to enjoy the Holdens' book: It's plain fun.” (Wall Street Journal)

"Everyone who reads this collection will be roused: disturbed by the pain, exalted in the zest for joy given by poets." (Nadine Gordimer winner of the Nobel Prize)

Poems That Make Grown Men Cry is an anthology of some of the most emotive lines in literature chosen by 100 famous and admired men, ranging from Daniel Radcliffe to Nick Cave, John le Carré and Jonathan Franzen.” (The Guardian)

“This collection is about the emotional power of art, and the Holdens cast aside any accusations of sentimentality or mawkishness. Anyone who reads Poems That Make Grown Men Cry will be roused, disturbed and exalted by the poems selected.” (Shelf-Awareness.com)

“I most enjoyed the brief introduction each contributor gave their selected poem. The stories behind the poems that moved them to tears were often just as emotional and passionate… I would recommend this as a gift to the poetry-lover in your life - whether they're a man or a woman.” (Examiner.com)

“Yes, this book will make an ideal gift for the men in your life, particularly those who shudder at the very thought of reading poems. And, of course, as Nadine Gordimer’s and my personal examples prove, it can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of gender or nationality. After all, that is the power of poetry: how it can speak to each one of us individually and intimately.” (Storyacious.com)

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Anthony Holden is an award-winning journalist and biographer who has published more than thirty books, including lives of Shakespeare, Tchaikovsky, and Laurence Olivier. He is also the author of three autobiographical books about poker, as well as translations of opera and ancient Greek plays and poetry.

Ben Holden is a writer and film producer. Like his father, he lives in London and studied English at Merton College, Oxford.

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Buchdeckel | Copyright | Inhaltsverzeichnis | Auszug | Stichwortverzeichnis
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Amazon.com: 3.9 von 5 Sternen  21 Rezensionen
23 von 23 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Poems That Make Grown Men Cry--Truth in Advertising? 12. April 2014
Von HankHank - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
I am a grown man. I do not like to cry. I received this book as a gift.

Product works as advertised.
13 von 13 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent collection; would make a great gift 1. April 2014
Von Kelly Sessions - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
You don’t have to say it: I am fully aware that I am not a man. Also, I’m an embarrassingly easy crier and will shed a tear at the drop of a hat. (I’ve recently taken to speed-reading through sad scenes in books because otherwise I’d have to tag far too many reviews with “Made Me Cry.”) So what made me request this one from Edelweiss? Basically, I figured that this had to be a collection of damn good poems in order to move so many eminent men so deeply. Also, the range of contributors seemed pretty broad, and it included a lot of my favorites. I’m always interested in finding out if my tastes match the tastes of the writers/performers/etc. I admire.

The editors allowed each contributor to include a brief piece explaining why he chose his particular poem. I found it particularly interesting when two men chose the same poem for different reasons, which happened more than once. After the poem, there’s a brief bio on the selector. Although I recognized most of the names, there were a few I didn’t, and I found this feature helpful.

The poetry itself comes from various time periods and languages, though most were written in English in the last 100-150 years. Some are beautiful but not particularly emotional, some seemed chosen for strictly personal reasons (and therefore felt a bit distant for me), and some left me pacing the floors of my home while sobbing.

Some of the poems didn’t make me cry, but they opened my eyes to a new poet and a style that I admired (I’ve included links when I could find them): Abioseh Nicol’s “The Meaning of Africa,” chosen by James Earl Jones, with its sweeping descriptions; Elizabeth Bishop’s powerfully evocative “Crusoe in England,” chosen by Andrew Solomon; Philip Larkin’s terrifying “Aubade,” chosen by William Sieghart; and — one I’d read previously and forgotten about — Bukowski’s “Eulogy to a Hell of a Dame,” chosen by Mike Leigh.

Other poems’ messages moved me: Consantine P. Cavafy’s “Ithaka,” chosen by Walter Salles, and Derek Walcott’s “Love After Love,” chosen by Tom Hiddleston.

Poems that hit me the hardest — the ones that made me out-and-out cry — were the ones about family, whether having/losing a parent (Tony Harrison’s “Long Distance II,” chosen by Daniel Radcliffe) or being one (John N. Morris’s “For Julia, In the Deep Water,” chosen by Tobias Wolff; Victoria Redel’s “Bedecked,” chosen by Billy Collins; and Rabindranath Tagore’s “Those Who Are Near Me Do Not Know,” chosen by Chris Cooper).

All in all: There’s something for everyone in here. Buy a stack of copies and gift them!

Note: I received a free review copy of this book via Edelweiss.
10 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen An opportunity to learn poetry others truly care about And the reasons for their caring 2. April 2014
Von Shalom Freedman - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
There is an implicit assumption in this project i.e. that what makes us cry is what most moves us. That is not necessarily the case, of course depending who we are, but is perhaps most often the case. In any case this anthology does provide an interesting collection of poetry, and with it the reasons why those who selected the poems found them most significant. There are also brief biographies of the selectors, all of whom are 'known' people in one area or the other.
What also struck me is only one of the poems, Dylan Thomas 'Do Not Go Gentle Into that good night' is among those I would have selected. Harold Jacobson chose Wordsworth's 'Surprised by Joy' and Harold Evans 'Wordsworth's 'The Happy Worrier' and each gave convincing reasons for doing so. But for me the great and moving Wordsworth poems are 'Tintern Abbey' ' 'Daffodils' 'The World is too much with us' 'Earth has not anything to show more fair'. I was surprised that Mathew Arnold's 'Dover Beach' and Hopkins 'Thou Art Indeed Just' are not here. Above all I was surprised that not a single person selected one of the most moving and consoling of all great religious poetry 'The Psalms'.
In any case there is much outstanding poetry here, and again most interestingly stories of why they are selected. Of course each such explanation says as much about the explainer as it does about the poem.
But this is a valuable project especially for those for whom reading Poetry is a great life passion.
7 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Great poems, good individual introductions overall, lousy (and I do mean lousy) formatting... 8. April 2014
Von Mr. Badger - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
The heading pretty much states my feelings.

Each poem is introduced by the person(s) who specified it to the compilers of this book.

No two ways about it, the poems reflect moving choices.

The introductions are varied, with some having a very ethereal relationship to the content of the poem and some being deeply moving in their own right.

The formatting and layout leaves a lot to be desired. Each chapter begins with the name of the poem in large letters, followed by the name of the poem's author in smaller letters. Then we get the reviewer/person who nominated the poem in a letter size between the first two.

The review ends and we get a one line break, then the title of the poem again, in the same size font as the rest of the text (though bolded slightly). Then the poem one line underneath that heading.

Once the poem ends, there's a couple of asterisks, then a blurb about the author of the review that preceded the poem. I realize that I'm reading this on a Kindle, but the layout causes the flow to be jumbled, the poem to just be another piece of the chapter and the reviewer's bios read like a shorthand publicity brief. I really don't think it would have been that difficult to separate the beginning of the poem to it's own, new page. Or to move the reviewer's bios to a brief blurb immediately before/after their introductions.. Or to make the poems stand out by having them in a different typeface so they can readily be seen while scanning through the book.
11 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen A bit disjointed. Some of the stories connecting the poems were interesting, but many left me blank. 1. April 2014
Von Ryan J. Dejonghe - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
The title of this book reads like a manly gauntlet thrown down: go ahead; I dare you not to cry. The expectation of this book is to strike the tragic chord to effect tears, but not all of its tears are produced by extreme loss. Some of the tears are drawn from awe-inspiring beauty, and even humor. It seems disjointed.

Aside from personal connections with the author, I’m not sure how this anthology was assembled. The connections being the people whom the author asked what poems make them teary-eyed. The people asked range from film stars to famous poets. Each person gives a brief history of either their connection to the poem, the poem’s history, or—and here is what drove me nuts—some random story that didn’t explain the poem’s connection.

For instance, one of the featured people of this book is Sir Patrick Stewart. Cool, right? Well, hold on. Stewart provides the author with a one-paragraph story of eating breakfast at his friends’ house in New York, then going out and crying at the sight of a New England’s Fall leaves (I’m assuming they were on the boarder of a New England state). Then the poem. The poem talked about God’s beauty and it was a great poem, but no mention of the poem was made in the story.

Another poem’s introduction is a person that said they laughed hysterically, and didn’t know why. It just did. And yet, there are quite a few poems with more lengthy and interesting introductions: personal stories and poems’ histories are shared. I just wish all the poems had a more personalized introduction.

The book’s editing threw me off. It could be my electronic galley version, so I would hope the print version of this book looks better. As for my copy, the interviewee’s name appeared then the poet’s name, then the personal story, then the poem itself, and finally the background information about the interviewee. Sometimes the author would interject with some brief history of the poem, where it needed clarification. I would have preferred the title of the poem up front. The current layout didn’t flow as it should have.

And I know it is nitpicky, but that cover is pretty bland.

Overall, the selection of poems and personal stories were satisfying. I’m not sure the challenge had been met of making grown men cry, let alone any adult, despite the orientation. There wasn’t an obvious consistency. Maybe if the book was edited a bit better, and maybe if the authors extended their interviewees statements more, it would have turned out a bit more spectacular.

Thank you to Simon & Schuster for providing me with a review copy of this book.
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