Friday, 22 July 2016

Book Review: Poems For Love selected by Laura Barber

On a recent wander around Hodges Figgis on a lazy Saturday afternoon, this collection of love poems selected by Laura Barber caught our eye. We wish we could pretend that we're very proper literary folks who regularly quote Tennyson, Whitman and Keats in our daily conversations but that would be a big old lie. The truth is that we own very few poetry books and we bought this because we're devastating romantics who wanted to read some delectable poems about love.

The book blurb reads:
Here are poems to take you on a journey from the 'suddenly' of love at first sight to the 'truly, madly, deeply' of infatuation and on to the 'eternally' of love that lasts beyond the end of life, along the way taking in flirtation, passion, fury, betrayal and broken hearts. Bringing together the greatest love poetry from around the world and through the ages, ranging from W. H. Auden to William Shakespeare, John Donne to Emily Dickinson, Robert Browning to Roger McGough, this new anthology will delight, comfort and inspire anyone who has ever tasted love - in any of its forms 

This anthology has cleverly arranged the poems into separate sections each denoting a different kind of love - from poems about secret love, to sudden love, from passionate love to lustful love. What's great about this format is that you can choose to read poems according to your mood, whether you're nostalgic, angry or blissfully happy - you'll find something in Poems For Love to satiate. 

There's also a brilliantly wide selection of poets and poems included making this a very accessible collection of work. There's a great mix of older classics and contemporary works. We also loved that there were many poems that weren't necessarily about romantic love, that could be applied to friendship, or family. 

Our absolute favourite poem in the book at the moment is Invisible Kisses by Lemm Sissay. It's such beautiful poem in a truly fantastic collection. We can't wait to return to Poems For Love time and time again, knowing that it will always have something to soothe the soul. 


If there was ever one

Whom when you were sleeping
Would wipe your tears
When in dreams you were weeping;
Who would offer you time
When others demand;
Whose love lay more infinite
Than grains of sand.

If there was ever one
To whom you could cry;
Who would gather each tear
And blow it dry;
Who would offer help
On the mountains of time;
Who would stop to let each sunset
Soothe the jaded mind.

If there was ever one
To whom when you run
Will push back the clouds
So you are bathed in sun;
Who would open arms
If you would fall;
Who would show you everything
If you lost it all.

If there was ever one
Who when you achieve
Was there before the dream
And even then believed;
Who would clear the air
When it’s full of loss;
Who would count love
Before the cost.

If there was ever one
Who when you are cold
Will summon warm air
For your hands to hold;
Who would make peace
In pouring pain,
Make laughter fall
In falling rain.

If there was ever one
Who can offer you this and more;
Who in keyless rooms
Can open doors;
Who in open doors
Can see open fields
And in open fields
See harvests yield.

Then see only my face
In the reflection of these tides
Trough the clear water
Beyond the river side.
All I can send is love
In all that this is
A poem and a necklace
Of invisible kisses.

Poems For Love
, selected by Laura Barber and published by Penguin, is available in all good bookstores nationwide and retails at 


  1. I'd like to read this one, seems like a very emotional reading, and the cover has a kind of old-school enchant ^^

    1. It's a lovely one to have in the collection! And totally agree about the cover, quite a Victorian feel to it!

  2. That sounds like such a beautiful book! That poem is so moving!