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101 Poems That Could Save Your Life    edited by Daisy Goodwin order for
101 Poems That Could Save Your Life
by Daisy Goodwin
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2002 (2002)

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* *   Reviewed by Liz Cooper

When thinking of ways your life could be saved, a few ideas come to mind: lifeguards, doctors, loved ones, perhaps even medication, air bags and quitting smoking. But have you ever considered poetry? Daisy Goodwin's 101 Poems That Could Save Your Life offers a collection of verses designed to give 'quick and effective relief ... from every day and exceptional problems.' Throughout the ages, poets have been thought to have a greater understanding of the human condition than the average person. Although we no longer hold bards in quite such high regard, poetry still can be therapeutic, soothing, and comforting.

The book is well organized, so that if you're looking for advice on a particular problem, but would prefer to skip the rest of the poems, you can easily find what you're looking for. The first section offers words of wisdom on 'Apologies'. Admitting you're wrong is one of the hardest things to do, and 'Deep Sorriness Atonement Song' is a humorous look into others' reasons to be apologetic, 'like the kid who called Napoleon a shortarse in assembly ... / or (anyone) who got a mermaid in the sack and found it was a merman'. By the time you've read this delightful poem, uttering the words 'I'm Sorry' will seem effortless.

Although many poems are lighthearted, such as 'Still To Be Neat' in the 'Bad Hair Day' section, and 'Hock and Soda Water' in 'Hangovers', others are deeply emotional and resonate with anyone going through a similar experience to the one portrayed. 'Is This Relationship Going Anywhere?' offers a number of compositions on the difficult topic of unfulfilled relationships. 'New Baby' is one of the most touching sections, offering advice and words of wisdom for new parents. I especially liked 'Lullaby', by Rosemary Norman: 'Go to sleep Mum / I won't stop breathing / Suddenly in the night', it begins, and continues to give examples which should soothe any new parent's worries.

Daisy Goodwin has put together a collection of emotional, humorous, and relevant poems. We're all becoming more stressed with each passing day, and this collection helps to soothe fears and comfort us in difficult times. I recommend 101 Poems That Could Save Your Life to anyone faced with a problem, big or small. The comforting words found between the pages of this book of verse are an inspiration.

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