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The Poetry Pharmacy Returns: More Prescriptions for Courage, Healing and Hope

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'A matchless compound of hug, tonic and kiss' Stephen Fry on William Sieghart's bestselling Poetry Pharmacy The Poetry Pharmacy is one of the bestselling (and most giftable) poetry anthologies of recent decades. Now, after huge demand for more prescriptions from readers and 'patients' alike, William Sieghart is back. This time, tried-and-true classics from his in-person pha 'A matchless compound of hug, tonic and kiss' Stephen Fry on William Sieghart's bestselling Poetry Pharmacy The Poetry Pharmacy is one of the bestselling (and most giftable) poetry anthologies of recent decades. Now, after huge demand for more prescriptions from readers and 'patients' alike, William Sieghart is back. This time, tried-and-true classics from his in-person pharmacies are joined by readers' favourite poems and the new conditions most requested by the public - all accompanied by his trademark meditations (warm, witty and understanding, with just a twist of the challenging) on the spiritual ailments he seeks to cure. From ageing bodies and existential crises to long-distance relationships and embracing your slovenliness, The Poetry Pharmacy Returns caters to all-new conditions while drilling further down into the universals: this time, the challenges of family life, and of living as a person among others, receive a much closer look. Perfect for the treasured friends, barely tolerated siblings, beloved aunts and revered grandparents in your life.


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'A matchless compound of hug, tonic and kiss' Stephen Fry on William Sieghart's bestselling Poetry Pharmacy The Poetry Pharmacy is one of the bestselling (and most giftable) poetry anthologies of recent decades. Now, after huge demand for more prescriptions from readers and 'patients' alike, William Sieghart is back. This time, tried-and-true classics from his in-person pha 'A matchless compound of hug, tonic and kiss' Stephen Fry on William Sieghart's bestselling Poetry Pharmacy The Poetry Pharmacy is one of the bestselling (and most giftable) poetry anthologies of recent decades. Now, after huge demand for more prescriptions from readers and 'patients' alike, William Sieghart is back. This time, tried-and-true classics from his in-person pharmacies are joined by readers' favourite poems and the new conditions most requested by the public - all accompanied by his trademark meditations (warm, witty and understanding, with just a twist of the challenging) on the spiritual ailments he seeks to cure. From ageing bodies and existential crises to long-distance relationships and embracing your slovenliness, The Poetry Pharmacy Returns caters to all-new conditions while drilling further down into the universals: this time, the challenges of family life, and of living as a person among others, receive a much closer look. Perfect for the treasured friends, barely tolerated siblings, beloved aunts and revered grandparents in your life.

30 review for The Poetry Pharmacy Returns: More Prescriptions for Courage, Healing and Hope

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    (The sequel to The Poetry Pharmacy.) Sieghart does poetry-specific bibliotherapy, believing that it has the ability to touch emotionally hurting people and perhaps fill the role once played by religion: “Suffering is the access point to poetry for a lot of people: that’s when they open their ears, hearts and minds.” “I knew full well the power of poetry to create that crucial sense of connection and security, of not being the only one” “we need something that can stand in the place of the liturgies (The sequel to The Poetry Pharmacy.) Sieghart does poetry-specific bibliotherapy, believing that it has the ability to touch emotionally hurting people and perhaps fill the role once played by religion: “Suffering is the access point to poetry for a lot of people: that’s when they open their ears, hearts and minds.” “I knew full well the power of poetry to create that crucial sense of connection and security, of not being the only one” “we need something that can stand in the place of the liturgies that many of us, in this secular society, have increasingly left behind.” As in the first volume, his choices are populist, and he relies too heavily on a few favorite poets: Mary Oliver has FOUR poems here, while Hafiz and Naomi Shihab Nye get three each. The poems are generally undemanding in that their meaning is clear at face value and for the most part they don’t employ any noticeable forms or sonic techniques. They are to be read for their messages, which is not a problem. But it does mean this is a book for poetry novices. I would advise reading each two-page spread backwards, i.e. read the poem itself first before turning to Sieghart’s commentary. Don’t even read his “Condition” heading; just go into the poem blind. My favorite new-to-me poem was “Rain” by Raymond Carver, which opens “Woke up this morning with / a terrific urge to lie in bed all day / and read. Fought against it for a minute. // Then looked out the window at the rain. / And gave over. Put myself entirely / in the keep of this rainy morning.” [But forget that final stanza, in which the speaker vows that he’d live all his mistakes over again. Me? I’d do it all over, but differently.] Some favorite individual lines: “I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering: / what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?” (from “When death comes” by Mary Oliver) Some nice snippets of commentary from Sieghart: “The moment you are happy to look at yourself in the mirror and say, not ‘I was true’, but ‘I got away with it’, you set yourself on a path of inauthenticity.” “It transpires that those couples who respond to one another’s trivial conversational gambits with enthusiasm are those who go on to stay in love over the long term.”

  2. 4 out of 5

    Liv Chalmers

    The Poetry Pharmacy just puts me at immense peace. Thank you, William Sieghart.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Adam Mills

    According to Immanuel Kant and many other philosophers language is fundamental to our understanding and perception of the world. Kant stated that we impose meaning on the world by the use of language. Indeed it is no mistake that St John’s gospel starts with the sentence ‘In the beginning was the Word’. Poetry is the manipulation and use of words to create exquisite and profound structures in language. A poet is a fine art sculptor in words. If prose is beer, then poetry is the finest malt whisk According to Immanuel Kant and many other philosophers language is fundamental to our understanding and perception of the world. Kant stated that we impose meaning on the world by the use of language. Indeed it is no mistake that St John’s gospel starts with the sentence ‘In the beginning was the Word’. Poetry is the manipulation and use of words to create exquisite and profound structures in language. A poet is a fine art sculptor in words. If prose is beer, then poetry is the finest malt whisky. This wonderful anthology, which is the second in the series, takes as its premise the healing and consoling power of the best poetry. The editor states ‘The Poetry Pharmacy is a project founded above all on the belief that poetry is a healing force much needed in these modern times’. This is true, nevermore so than at the current time. Each poem has been selected to address some aspect of the human condition. As well as the poems themselves each is prefaced by a short essay on the condition or conditions the poem is selected to reflect. The essays themselves are absolute gems and are a perfect accompaniment to the poems. It is in fact an equal partnership with the essays explaining and enhancing the meaning and appreciation of the poems with extraordinary insight. It is hard to recommend this collection too highly.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Omelia Legg

    What a lovely selection of poems 😍

  5. 5 out of 5

    Natasha Chowdory

    Still wonderful and I hope that there's a Vol 3. This one felt more personal and nuanced and we had some lively discussions because of some of the descriptions and intepretations. Loved it! Still wonderful and I hope that there's a Vol 3. This one felt more personal and nuanced and we had some lively discussions because of some of the descriptions and intepretations. Loved it!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Isabelle Bradbury

    I love The Poetry Pharmacy: I love the concept, I love the execution, I love how it speaks to my soul and tells me what I need to hear. This particular book in the otherwise fantastic duology gets one less star than its predecessor because I noticed some poems were repeated from The Poetry Remedy and I wished for new content (is this just a problem for us Americans?). I also found myself completely skipping over the explanations of each emotion and just reading the poems. But the poems, they wer I love The Poetry Pharmacy: I love the concept, I love the execution, I love how it speaks to my soul and tells me what I need to hear. This particular book in the otherwise fantastic duology gets one less star than its predecessor because I noticed some poems were repeated from The Poetry Remedy and I wished for new content (is this just a problem for us Americans?). I also found myself completely skipping over the explanations of each emotion and just reading the poems. But the poems, they were beautiful!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    My sister may not get it back ... The planet keeps on being round.

  8. 4 out of 5

    peppersocks

    Reflections and lessons learned: “So stay in bed, if you want to. Read a book, or just watch the drips down the window. Whatever you do, be kind to yourself. Love your missteps: and remember that you’d do it all again, given half a chance.” The wonderful thing about these books are, of course the range of the poetry, but it’s mainly the definitions and ordering (‘condition’ main heading and ‘also suitable for’ further breakdown to be able to identify the relationship to) - almost like a symptom id Reflections and lessons learned: “So stay in bed, if you want to. Read a book, or just watch the drips down the window. Whatever you do, be kind to yourself. Love your missteps: and remember that you’d do it all again, given half a chance.” The wonderful thing about these books are, of course the range of the poetry, but it’s mainly the definitions and ordering (‘condition’ main heading and ‘also suitable for’ further breakdown to be able to identify the relationship to) - almost like a symptom identifier for emotional turmoil which gives a dictionary definition before delivering the artistic output as the medicine. Each poem has earned its place on individual strengths as we’re not all the same and the phrase “I’m just feeling emotional” can run a whole gamete of possibilities. I read this as a kindle version after listening to an audiobook version of the first one, and found it as equally powerful but could really see the benefits of having the print books in the house. I may start buying these for teenage relations... the standout title discovery from familiar words in this volume? Only blooming Ecclesiastes, ‘To everything there is a season...’ “If you’re very quiet, and very lucky, you might just hear a voice whispering back to you”

  9. 4 out of 5

    Megan Rhodes

    I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of the poetry pharmacy before it’s published date on my iPad kindle & wow, I am so glad that I read this! As a poetry writer myself, I absolutely loved this book and viewing all the different poems produced through the years, all about a particular passionate topic of mine- mental health. William Sieghart uses poetry as a form of healing, for all types of people around the world. There is a poem for every form of emotion or situation that life has sprung upon I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of the poetry pharmacy before it’s published date on my iPad kindle & wow, I am so glad that I read this! As a poetry writer myself, I absolutely loved this book and viewing all the different poems produced through the years, all about a particular passionate topic of mine- mental health. William Sieghart uses poetry as a form of healing, for all types of people around the world. There is a poem for every form of emotion or situation that life has sprung upon us. I could relate to near enough every single poem I read, others I favoured more than others, but I came away feeling empowered, inspired & amazed at what these words made me feel. As someone who suffers from anxiety & has experienced mental health struggles, There is certainly a poem for everyone, no matter where you are in life! I thoroughly recommend to anyone who may be struggling currently or previously. This is absolutely a brilliant form of healing your soul, allowing your thoughts to drift & acknowledging your feelings. This is a definite ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ from me! Instagram: mrbook_reviews_123 & mrwrites_ https://theatre322.wordpress.com/

  10. 5 out of 5

    Georgi_Lvs_Books

    It is shocking that I have only just discovered William Sieghart! After this I will need to get my hands on a copy of The Poetry Pharmacy. I adore poetry. It brings me such comfort and beauty. This collection of poetry was just on a whole new level of amazingness! I loved that William would discuss feelings and thoughts before hand, So many things were put into perspective and it made the poem all the more enjoyable and also easier to connect with. This is a book you can return to again and agai It is shocking that I have only just discovered William Sieghart! After this I will need to get my hands on a copy of The Poetry Pharmacy. I adore poetry. It brings me such comfort and beauty. This collection of poetry was just on a whole new level of amazingness! I loved that William would discuss feelings and thoughts before hand, So many things were put into perspective and it made the poem all the more enjoyable and also easier to connect with. This is a book you can return to again and again. With everything that is going on in the world right now, I am so thankful to have had this in my life. I must get my hands on a physical copy as this is a book I will defiantly want to return to again and again.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tilly Fitzgerald

    A poetry collection which holds the prescription for any ailment! As someone fairly new to poetry, and who struggles to get to grips with it sometimes, this was a brilliant introduction to the genre. I loved the explanations of how to read poetry, and the psychological element to the opening of each poem - poems are broken down by condition, so for example, there’s a poem for Letting Go or Grief and a brief explanation of the condition before the poem. There is wonderful lack of pretension to th A poetry collection which holds the prescription for any ailment! As someone fairly new to poetry, and who struggles to get to grips with it sometimes, this was a brilliant introduction to the genre. I loved the explanations of how to read poetry, and the psychological element to the opening of each poem - poems are broken down by condition, so for example, there’s a poem for Letting Go or Grief and a brief explanation of the condition before the poem. There is wonderful lack of pretension to this collection, and I can’t recommend it enough for anyone dipping their toe in the water! This is one to keep and flick through whenever times get difficult.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    The Poetry Pharmacy Returns by William Sieghart is a collection of poetry that Sieghart advises can help with our emotional states and the lessons that can be learned from poetry. I loved the descriptions before each poem selected and the way in which it includes the emotions that may be felt if looking for a particular poem to help with that feeling. Strength and Healing was my favourite part of the collection however the whole book flowed well in pace and poetry chosen. A book I would recommen The Poetry Pharmacy Returns by William Sieghart is a collection of poetry that Sieghart advises can help with our emotional states and the lessons that can be learned from poetry. I loved the descriptions before each poem selected and the way in which it includes the emotions that may be felt if looking for a particular poem to help with that feeling. Strength and Healing was my favourite part of the collection however the whole book flowed well in pace and poetry chosen. A book I would recommend to anyone. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Pamela Scott

    https://thebookloversboudoir.wordpres... I enjoyed this as much as the first volume. This also reminds me of the Being Alive series from Bloodaxe Books on a much smaller scale. This is an interesting mix of more recent contemporary and older contemporary poets. Some of my favourites are among them including Fleur Adcock, Denise Levertov, Mary Oliver and Kate Tempest. I also found some new poetic voices including Mark Strand, John O’Donohue and Grace Nichols. Like the first volume, I would have pr https://thebookloversboudoir.wordpres... I enjoyed this as much as the first volume. This also reminds me of the Being Alive series from Bloodaxe Books on a much smaller scale. This is an interesting mix of more recent contemporary and older contemporary poets. Some of my favourites are among them including Fleur Adcock, Denise Levertov, Mary Oliver and Kate Tempest. I also found some new poetic voices including Mark Strand, John O’Donohue and Grace Nichols. Like the first volume, I would have preferred more than one poem for each theme.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Superb! A balm for the soul. My favourite poem was The Orange. There was is much soothing power in the poetry. It’s like someone understood, understood you before you understood you, and put it into tapestry of sounds. It’s a book to be sad with, glad with, hopeful and desperate with. I picked it up during COVID-19 pandemic after hearing about the death of my best friend’s mother in law. In those pages I found the empathy and hopeful notes. I keep it by my bed side next to strepsils and lemsips. Superb! A balm for the soul. My favourite poem was The Orange. There was is much soothing power in the poetry. It’s like someone understood, understood you before you understood you, and put it into tapestry of sounds. It’s a book to be sad with, glad with, hopeful and desperate with. I picked it up during COVID-19 pandemic after hearing about the death of my best friend’s mother in law. In those pages I found the empathy and hopeful notes. I keep it by my bed side next to strepsils and lemsips. It is the aspirin for the soul.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Eleanor

    I don't know the last time I read such a joyous and charming book. Sieghart's narration is just so wonderful and optimistic, and the poetry choices are just perfect. So many of these poems are complete gems and achieve just what Sieghart wishes them to. It's not meant to be read cover to cover, as I did, but I am glad I've read all the poems. I don't know the last time I read such a joyous and charming book. Sieghart's narration is just so wonderful and optimistic, and the poetry choices are just perfect. So many of these poems are complete gems and achieve just what Sieghart wishes them to. It's not meant to be read cover to cover, as I did, but I am glad I've read all the poems.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Asera

    = Read this book from NetGalley UK in exchange for a fair review. = This follow-up to Poetry Pharmacy has a kinder touch overall. Something I would like to have on my shelf. The theme carries itself more consistently this time around, compared to the previous book. A more humbling experience. Too many favourite poems to list! Still skipping the “prescriptions”. 4 stars!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Deepthi H T

    If you plan on getting this book from the library, read and return it, then you are doing it wrong! You must own a copy of this book! This is a book that takes permanent placement on your nightstand! I don’t overwhelm myself by reading all of it at one! I read, re-read, reminisce and reflect! It’s a new everyday ritual for me now!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer O'Kelly

    I like the concept of the poetry pharmacy. I wasn't at all times completely convinced of the execution, with the preambles to the poems, though others might like this. Regardless, there are some gorgeous poems in here and I found it soothing to flip through. I like the concept of the poetry pharmacy. I wasn't at all times completely convinced of the execution, with the preambles to the poems, though others might like this. Regardless, there are some gorgeous poems in here and I found it soothing to flip through.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ajay Sawant

    I love William's taste in poetry and how gorgeously beautiful the poems in the book are. Its interesting to learn about them too and how willam started with prescribing poetry. The poems are most based on healing and mental heath I love William's taste in poetry and how gorgeously beautiful the poems in the book are. Its interesting to learn about them too and how willam started with prescribing poetry. The poems are most based on healing and mental heath

  20. 5 out of 5

    sarimarlaf

    Five stars aren't enough to reflect my love for this book. This book is perfect for beginners in poetry like me, it helps to understand the inmense power that poetry can have. Poetry links us to divine, you're damn right Sieghart. Five stars aren't enough to reflect my love for this book. This book is perfect for beginners in poetry like me, it helps to understand the inmense power that poetry can have. Poetry links us to divine, you're damn right Sieghart.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amy Jane

    This second instalment of The Poetry Pharmacy lives up to the first brilliant collection. Many really resonated with me this time, and seemed destined to be read during this pandemic.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sapna Gupta

    If therapy was poetry this would be it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    capucine

    The Orange by Wendy Cope Rain by Raymond Carver

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tanica Theys

    One of the best anthologies I've stumbled upon. The poems were chosen with care and each was detailed with love. One of the best anthologies I've stumbled upon. The poems were chosen with care and each was detailed with love.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Dixon

    As with the original 'Poetry Pharmacy', this book is an intelligently and sympathetically designed work that provides poetry with a secular social role. Rather than hastily riding the wave of its predecessor, 'The Poetry Pharmacy Returns' offers a fresh array of pertinent prescriptions. Sieghart conveys the community that has grown around his poetry prescriptions and the subsequent anthologies in a lovely way, inviting the reader to join this gentle network. As with the first text, I found the ' As with the original 'Poetry Pharmacy', this book is an intelligently and sympathetically designed work that provides poetry with a secular social role. Rather than hastily riding the wave of its predecessor, 'The Poetry Pharmacy Returns' offers a fresh array of pertinent prescriptions. Sieghart conveys the community that has grown around his poetry prescriptions and the subsequent anthologies in a lovely way, inviting the reader to join this gentle network. As with the first text, I found the 'Index of Conditions' an easier tool with which to navigate the text than the contents page. The 'also suitable for' suggestions that appear under every condition sub-title is also helpful and, I find, helps to frame a poem as multi-faceted before I begin to read.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kate: The Quick and the Read

    I'd already read the first 'The Poetry Pharmacy' book so I knew what to expect here and this is more of the same. I say that in a totally positive way, though - there's plenty of new things to discover here! For those who haven't come across these books before, William Sieghart believes that poetry can genuinely support good mental health, either from giving you a different perspective on your problem or by giving you the comfort that whatever you face is something that other people have felt too I'd already read the first 'The Poetry Pharmacy' book so I knew what to expect here and this is more of the same. I say that in a totally positive way, though - there's plenty of new things to discover here! For those who haven't come across these books before, William Sieghart believes that poetry can genuinely support good mental health, either from giving you a different perspective on your problem or by giving you the comfort that whatever you face is something that other people have felt too. To this end, he has been a regular prescriber of poetry to people who come to him with problems. These books pick a problem, explain it, give an introduction to a relevant poem and then print the poem. A simple idea, but both interesting and quite effective, I found. This covers a full range of different problems and poems to the first book in the series, although I had the sense that the introduction is the same or extremely similar. The poems are a selection of poetry from across time and cultures - from Rumi to Larkin, Neruda to Akhmatova, Atwood to Khalvati and many others I had never heard of before. There is also a little gem from Raymond Carver that perfectly encapsulates my feelings of lethargy in the current lockdown! If you are open to the idea that poetry can help soothe the mind, then I would recommend this book wholeheartedly. I'm one of life's cynics but I still found lots to enjoy and some real food for thought.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bridgett

    This book is just as healing and perfect as its predecessor. Every poem remedy is wonderfully and carefully thought out. As I read different poems on different days when I was feeling different ways I was amazed over how perfect each poem I read was and how soothed I was. It is not a book to be read in one sitting from front to back. It is a book that is meant to be dipped into in moments of need. I highly recommend this book along with the previous poetry pharmacy book. I am hoping with all of This book is just as healing and perfect as its predecessor. Every poem remedy is wonderfully and carefully thought out. As I read different poems on different days when I was feeling different ways I was amazed over how perfect each poem I read was and how soothed I was. It is not a book to be read in one sitting from front to back. It is a book that is meant to be dipped into in moments of need. I highly recommend this book along with the previous poetry pharmacy book. I am hoping with all of my heart for a third one to come out some day.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Aizul Fitri Mohd Asri

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lissy Pountney

  30. 5 out of 5

    Pau Duman

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