Barter by Sara Teasdale

As the dark nights set in and the chill descends, it can be hard to keep your chin up. My other half feels the change of seasons very strongly, probably because of his Mediterranean blood which so craves the sun. So in order to stave off a bout of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) getting out and about during the brief hours of winter daylight is very important.

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Bluebird by Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski is an interesting chap. He intrigues me but I gather from friends who have ventured deeper into his smoky, whiskey-soaked world, that I may not particularly like him if I get to know him too well. Which is why I’m inclined to keep my distance for now.

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The Whitsun Weddings by Philip Larkin

It has been a summer of weddings for me and each time we set off with the car packed up, freshly ironed outfits hung up in the back seat, watching sunny scenes roll past as we venture forth in all new green fields of England, I remember the words of The Whitsun Weddings.

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Living in the Body by Joyce Sutphen

As the western world turns a judgemental eye on the ‘beach bodies’ of the world, I’m reminded of this wonderful poem by Joyce Sutphen. Sadly I am not sunning myself on a beach here or abroad but I have been conscious of how much strain I’ve been putting my body under this year. I am conscious, mostly, because my body has been sending me gentle reminders that I am not superhuman – it need sleep and fruit and much more movement than it currently experiences on a weekly basis.

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The Bear by Robert Frost

Robert Frost is my home boy.

He was quite the handsome chap in his day and the words which he penned in his time never fall short of beautiful. The Bear is the perfect example of his tendency to the rural in landscape and the sardonic in undertone, but even on the face of things there are beautiful words and turns of phrase to delight.

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Ships? Sure I’ll Sail Them by Maya Angelou

My introduction to the glorious Maya Angelou came at the hand of my A Level English teacher who included individual hand picked poems in our leaving cards. I was quite surprised at just how perfect the poem in question was for me. It felt as though my teacher had pinned me down in literary verse, something she did for each individual in that class.

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Ecce Puer by James Joyce

I love James JoyceDubliners is probably the first collection of short stories I ever read in its entirety – perhaps the only one in fact. My dad passed on his battered copy of the book when I was maybe 12 or 13. From that first reading I studied Joyce’s Dubliners almost every year until I graduated in 2010.

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