Hold Out Your Arms

I was saddened to hear yesterday about the passing of Helen Dunmore. You’ve probably heard of her: she was an award-winning writer, having authored 10 poetry collections, and 12 novels. She was 64 years old, and had only recently been diagnosed with cancer.

But what really struck me about this news was the release by her family of a poem she’d written in her last days. The poem – entitled ‘Hold Out Your Arms’ – is reproduced in this Guardian article, and I really recommend you check it out – there’s something beautifully innocent about her portrayal of death, and although it is a sober read, it is both chilling and peaceful.

As you push back my hair
– Which could do with a comb
But never mind –
You murmur
‘We’re nearly there.’


Delirium and Poetry

I recently finished reading Delirium by Lauren Oliver! What really stood out to me was that I LOVED all the poetry referenced throughout, so for all my fellow poetry-lovers, I’ve collected the title, author and my favourite extract of each literary reference. Even if you haven’t read Delirium, I highly recommend checking these out; I think Lauren Oliver has fantastic taste in poetry!

Romeo and Juliet – William Shakespeare Awkward moment when your first poem isn’t a poem. Shut up. It’s Shakespeare, I couldn’t leave it out.

“My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.”

Sonnet 18 – William Shakespeare This is the ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?’ one. Over-quoted, but a gorgeous poem all the same.

“So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.”

Sonnet 43 – Elizabeth Barrett Browning Starts ‘How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.’ You’ve probably heard of it, but read it again because it’s lovely.

“I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight”

i carry your heart with me – E. E. Cummings The lack of capital letters can take a while to get used to, but the WORDS! I love this poem.

“here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart”
I hope you enjoyed these poems!
Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day.