Synopses & Reviews
Ten Poems to Open Your Heart is a book devoted to love: to the intimacy of personal love and lovemaking, to a loving compassion for others, and to the love that embraces both this world and the next. This new volume from Roger Housden features a few of the same poets as his extraordinarily moving Ten Poems to Change Your Life, such as Mary Oliver and Pablo Neruda, along with contributions from Sharon Olds, Wislawa Szymborska, Czeslaw Milosz, Denise Levertov, and others. Any one of the ten poems and, indeed, any one of Housdens reflections on them, can open, gladden, or pierce your heart.
Through the voices of these ten inspiring poets, and through illustrations from his own life, Housden expresses the tenderness, beauty, joys, and sorrows of love, the presence of which, more than anything else, gives human existence its meaning.
As Housden says in his eloquent introduction, “Great poetry happens when the mind is looking the other way and words fall from the sky to shape a moment that would normally be untranslatable. . . . When the heart opens, we forget ourselves and the world pours in: this world, and also the invisible world of meaning that sustains everything that was and ever shall be.”
Explore the full range of love, from the intimately personal to the spiritual, in a constellation of poems by Wistawa Szymborska, Pablo Neruda, Sharon Olds, Rumi, Robert Bly, Galway Kinnell, Mary Oliver, and others.
About the Author
Roger Housden, a native of Bath, England, emigrated to the United States in 1998. He now lives in Woodstock, New York, with his wife, Maria. He is the author of several works of nonfiction, including Ten Poems to Change Your Life, and also a recent novella, Chasing Rumi: A Fable About Finding the Hearts True Desire. He gives occasional public recitals of ecstatic poetry from the worlds great literary and spiritual traditions. You can e-mail him at email@example.com.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- West wind #2 / Mary Oliver -- Row for your life -- Knowing / Sharon Olds -- Follow the gaze -- Saint Francis and the sow / Galway Kinnell -- Flower of self-blessing -- Love at first sight / Wislawa Szymborska -- You never know -- Love / Czeslaw Milosz -- One among many -- Kindness / Naomi Shihab Nye -- It is you I have been looking for -- Ache of marriage / Denise Levertov -- Hidden joy -- Love sonnet LXXXIX / Pablo Neruda -- When I die -- Third body / Robert Bly -- This presence -- Buoyancy / Rumi -- Love has taken away all my practices.