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101 Poems to Get You Through the Day (and Night)    by Daisy Goodwin order for
101 Poems to Get You Through the Day (and Night)
by Daisy Goodwin
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2003 (2003)

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* * *   Reviewed by Liz Cooper

Between school, work, family obligations and other endeavors, it's hard to find time to relax these days. Curling up with a good book sounds like an impossible dream at times, as finding a few minutes to unwind can be difficult. How about reaching for a book of poetry the next time you're looking for a way to de-stress? Daisy Goodwin's 101 Poems to Get You Through the Day (and Night) promises to do just that.

Goodwin claims that 'a good poem is human experience at its most concentrated', and this collection proves her point. The book is arranged 'like a medieval book of hours', so that you can easily find the right poem for any specific time of day, starting with 'Getting Out of Bed', coming full circle to 'Going to Bed'. The poems are concise and unique. Some are only a few lines long, but they still manage to pack a punch - such as 'Friends', by Emily Dickinson: 'They might not need me, but they might. / I'll let my head be just in sight; / A smile as small as mine might be / Precisely their necessity'. Others are longer, but they can all be read in just a few minutes. Flipping through this collection to find the poem to put you in the right frame of mind is effortless.

Many of the verses are humorous in nature, while others are deeply emotional and engaging. My favorite section is 'Stepping on the Scale', as it offers words of wisdom for anyone who has ever struggled with the overwhelming challenge of dieting. Blake Morrison's 'Against Dieting' is a powerful composition ending with an effective message: 'Try to see it from my point of view. / I want not less but more of you'. As the day progresses, sections such as 'Office Politics', 'Call Waiting', and 'The Parent Trap' offer words of wisdom to deal with just about any situation which may arise. As the day wraps up, Goodwin has also included a few themed poems, found in the 'Christmas', 'Weddings' and 'Funeral' sections.

Truly a compilation of poems suitable for just about any event you might encounter, 101 Poems to Get You Through the Day (and Night) is small enough to fit in your purse or back pocket, and it's one book you'll find yourself referring to often.

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