Ten Poems to Change Your Life

Ten Poems to Change Your Life

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by Roger Housden

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This is a dangerous book. Great poetry calls into question not less than everything. It dares us to break free from the safe strategies of the cautious mind. It opens us to pain and joy and delight. It amazes, startles, pierces, and transforms us. It can lead to communion and grace.

Through the voices of ten inspiring poets and his own reflections, the author of

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This is a dangerous book. Great poetry calls into question not less than everything. It dares us to break free from the safe strategies of the cautious mind. It opens us to pain and joy and delight. It amazes, startles, pierces, and transforms us. It can lead to communion and grace.

Through the voices of ten inspiring poets and his own reflections, the author of Sacred America shows how poetry illuminates the eternal feelings and desires that stir the human heart and soul. These poems explore such universal themes as the awakening of wonder, the longing for love, the wisdom of dreams, and the courage required to live an authentic life. In thoughtful commentary on each work, Housden offers glimpses into his personal spiritual journey and invites readers to contemplate the significance of the poet's message in their own lives.

In Ten Poems to Change Your Life, Roger Housden shows how these astonishing poems can inspire you to live what you always knew in your bones but never had the words for.

"The Journey" by Mary Oliver
"Last Night as I Was Sleeping" by Antonio Machado
"Song of Myself" by Walt Whitman
"Zero Circle" by Rumi
"The Time Before Death" by Kabir
"Ode to My Socks" by Pablo Neruda
"Last Gods" by Galway Kinnell
"For the Anniversary of My Death" by W. S. Merwin
"Love After Love" by Derek Walcott
"The Dark Night" by St. John of the Cross

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In Ten Poems to Change Your Life Housden offers a unique map for the Soul's journey and encourages us to begin. Accessible, elegant, luminous, and wise, this book is Soul food."
— Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D., author of Kitchen Table Wisdom and My Grandfather's Blessings

Product Details

Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Edition
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Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 7.94(h) x 0.70(d)

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Ten Poems to Change Your Life 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous 7 months ago
I was very unhappy with this purches
MarinaMD More than 1 year ago
I used to love poetry and read it a lot and then time has gotten away with "life". But now, after reading Ten Poems, I have a renewed interest, thanks to the author's bringing the ten very different poems alive. I liked his using personal experiences as well as linking the poems to other poets. It is very fulfilling to read and muse over these poems.
YoyoMitch More than 1 year ago
 I studied Poetry while in college as it was part of the curriculum for my English Major, but that genre of Literature never took root within me. The talks of “meter,” “Iambic Pentameter,”  “don’t read poems in cadence,” “free verse vs rhyming verse” were the talk of a craft the tools of which I could not locate. There seemed to be something I was missing that would turn Poetry from a point of frustration to an experience of sublimity. As I got older, I began to understand that the “something” missing in my ability to “get” Poetry was the location from where I was reading poems. Poetry must be read with the eyes of the heart, not just the machinery of the mind. Hence this Student was ready for the teacher. When a friend recommended this book with the statement, “I could not consider myself a friend if I kept this (book) to myself.” I need more friends like this one in my life. This little book offers the author’s discussion of ten poems that are powerful enough to shift the reader’s very life. Reading these poems and the discourse following each is as close to a poetry class as I can imagine without formally enrolling in an education institution. The author’s expertise in the discipline of Poetry and following the challenges they propose is of depth, breadth and longevity. He selects 10 poets from different cultures (Sanskrit to Humanist Philosophy) different times (the 13th Century to the present) to speak to those of us - rich, self-absorbed, busy and largely aimless. These poems & supporting couplets do possess phrases of explosive power to one’s soul. Throughout the book, the poems speak to responding to ones’ heart and the truth held there (p. 13). It is not enough to know (your heart), you have to begin (your journey),” daring the reader to live life as they were created to live. Taking this step requires waking up, to “not the event but the eyes that we are seeing with (p.25).” We are reminded that we are limited by our self-perception to what we are willing to admit we don’t know (Ch. 4). Life and death are constantly present in life, existing in the same moment. We are bound by beliefs & preconceptions of how life is but “the sky will always grow larger” when we release our beliefs of how life is “supposed to go” (Ch. 5). It is the mundane and common that causes life to be – breath, clothing and food – the things touched daily without notice. When those things are “noticed,” the “common” will become splendid (Ch. 6). A full life flows through all the senses, allowing one to connect with the world more fully. Such living is diminished when such sensuality is confused with and limited to the erotic (Ch. 7). Embracing the reality that one’s days are limited gives freedom and motivation to live life more fully. Rather than being morbid about death celebrating the rarity of life is the hope offered in the Eighth chapter. Eventually, everyone will cease being “of two minds” about themselves – the person displayed for the world and the person we truly are – and the freedom found in such self-acceptance will abound in living from that point forward (Ch. 9). Mr. Housden ends with a poem from a Desert Father, St. John of the Cross, where the reader is reminded that there is a sustaining, guiding Presence who shelters all; Mr. Housden identifies this Being as the wondrous, imponderable reality of Love. Not a shadowy, emotional, pale term made common by popularity, but a moving, shaping, creating Power none can (eventually) resist.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
loved reading the poems then delving more deeply into them
bibliophileKD More than 1 year ago
Housden's words help me appreciate the poems more, its like eating well done comfort food!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Can¿t get enough of visionary fiction? Neither can I! These are just a few titles that will inspire you: The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield) ; The Butterfly (Jay Singh); The Monk who sold his Ferrari (Robin Sharma) ; The Alchemist (Paulo Coehlo); Chasing Rumi (Roger Housden). My favorite is by far and away THE ALCHEMIST! Go ahead¿be inspired. Happy reading. Donald S. Buckland.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great collection of poetry that I very much enjoyed. I recommend it to anyone as it is truly wonderful.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Not only has Roger Housden gathered together a collection of inspiring poetry from some of the greatest poets throughout time and place, he profoundly guides the reader through the selected poems, by sharing his perceptions of their rich meaning, in revealing insights from his own personal journey. Whether you're a long-time lover of poetry or have just developed an appreciation for this heart-filled expression of art, you will connect and be transformed by the truth and inspiration of the work of the gifted and brilliant poets shared in this book.