Tell Me the Truth About Life: A National Poetry Day Anthology

Tell Me the Truth About Life: A National Poetry Day Anthology by National Poetry Day, and Cerys Matthews

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By National Poetry Day, and and, Cerys Matthews

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CURATED AND INTRODUCED BY CERYS MATTHEWS. Tell Me the Truth About Life is an indispensable anthology which celebrates poetry’s power to tap into the truths that matter.

Curated and introduced by Cerys Matthews, this collection draws on the wisdom of crowds: featuring poems nominated for their insight into truth by a range of ordinary and extraordinary people: from Britain’s first astronaut, Helen Sharman, to the driver of the number 19 bus, from sporting heroes and world-famous musicians to teachers, artists and politicians. Their choices include contemporary work by Yrsa Daley-Ward, Warsan Shire and Kei Miller alongside classics by W H Auden, Emily Dickinson and Dylan Thomas.

Here you will find poems to revive the spirit, ballads to mobilize and life-lines to hold you safe in the dark. Compiled for National Poetry Day’s twenty-fifth anniversary, Tell Me the Truth About Life is a book that reminds us we are never completely alone in our search to glimpse the truth. Containing nominations from a number of high-profile poetry lovers and poets, including Rupi Kaur, Michael Morpurgo, Mark Gatiss, Alice Oswald and Helen Sharman, among others.


25 Sep 2019

KathyL of BiblioBelles

Tell me the Truth about Life curated by Cerys Matthews

1) reviewed by Kathy Livingstone
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ If you buy or read only one poetry book for National Poetry Day, I would recommend this. The introduction by Cerys Matthews is fascinating in itself: not only does it explain the genesis of the anthology but Ms Matthews explains this in a wonderfully poetic, personal and heartfelt way.

I was intrigued by the choice of opening poet and poem, but, when I reflected on the reaction the poem created within me, I felt it was an inspired move. Absolute, indisputable truths of simple, even banal subjects which surely speak to all, so humorously penned: I became an immediate fan of Piet Hein and ‘grooks’! And so I excitedly embarked on the rest of the journey about to unfold in these pages.

Whilst some poems touched my heart and moved me less than others, there were very few which left me cold and indifferent.

I think the selection and arrangement into the seven different sections works very well. If I had to chose a favourite from each section, they might be as follows:

7) If we could speak like wolves
6) Good Bones
5) Stars over the Dordogne
4) Still I rise and A Man’s A Man for ‘A That (both such enduring personal favourites)
3) Oh Who is that Young Sinner
2) The Art of Deception (that final line!) or At the Intersection (so clever)
1) Desiderata - I really don’t remember having read/heard this at any time in my life but I feel I must have because it resonates so deeply within me and (albeit unwittingly) has in fact guided my life. My personal Mantra! ( Hence the reverse order here.)

During my reading of this anthology, I remembered that, in my childhood, poetry books were almost always called A Treasury of ...
It feels like only now, and quite by happenstance, reading this collection has led me to understand the significance of that title. Treasury and Treasure all in one. It’s a keeper for me and I think, as the years roll on, I shall experience moments of absolute me-time, diving into its contents, to pause and reflect upon the truth about life.

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