Sunday, 6 April 2014

Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

The Observer published today in The New Review an adapted version from Anthony Holden's preface to Poems That Make Grown Men Cry, his anthology published this coming Thursday by Simon & Schuster.

It's not as clever a title as Real  Men Don't Eat Quiche or Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, but it does perhaps in its literal way attempt to speak up for the sensitivity inherent in the male gender - or at least those men who read poetry.

I've got a few that can turn my taps on, but I'll just mention three: the first by Peter Porter which I previously posted here, the second by Seamus Heaney that I previously posted here, and this third by Ray Carver, which is a fragment from one of his last ever pieces of writing. In many ways the poem is so sweetly positive, but it is the fact it was written as he was dying which always foregrounds the pathos for me -

Late Fragment

And did you get what
you wanted from life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.


  1. Love the Carver. Will probably get this new anthology too when published as have read quite a few reviews of late. Some fantastic poems in there

  2. Don't read much/enough poetry but found some calm time today and read all 3. You weren't joking about the "grown men" and the "crying"! Moving. Thanks.

    1. I'm pleased you have been interested enough to pursue, and it is good of you to share this response.