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Ten Poems to Say Goodbye by Roger Housden

Ten Poems to Say Goodbye by Roger Housden
  • On sale: January 1, 1970
  • Price: $
  • ISBN: 9780307885999
Contact: Catherine Cullen

“Good poetry is not merely a few thoughtful words to fill an awkward moment. It is not simply sage advice or a gentle consolation. No, great poetry reaches down into the depths of our humanity and captures the very essence of our experience. Then it delivers it up in exactly the right words. This is why we shudder with recognition when we hear the right poem at the right time.” From the introduction

With the newest and final addition to the celebrated Ten Poems series, TEN POEMS TO SAY GOODBYE (Harmony; February 21, 2012), Roger Housden returns to invoke the magic of poetry, this time to heal personal loss.

Saying goodbye, whether to a relationship, a loved one, a place, or a time in one’s life, can seem an insurmountably difficult task. The sense of an ending is often nearly impossible to fit into words, but words are just what Housden supplies in his beautiful selection of poems that capture the poignancy and often bittersweet nature of goodbyes.

This portable volume focuses not only on loss and grief, but also on quiet contemplation and anticipation. A goodbye is not merely an ending, but an opportunity to tie up loose ends and begin anew. A goodbye is a moment for forgiveness, kindness, and intimacy, and is most importantly a time to acknowledge what was, what is, and what will be.

Whether a goodbye is tinged with sadness, relief, or even joy, it represents a distinct shift in one’s life, a transitional moment that has fascinated and inspired some of poetry’s finest and freshest voices. Housden includes works from such icons as Pablo Neruda (“Love Sonnet XCIV”), e. e. cummings (“it may not always be so; and I say”), and Leonard Cohen (“Alexandra Leaving”) to present a spectrum of poems that bridge the human experience. The selected poems speak to every imaginable situation—from saying goodbye to a lover, a daughter, a home, even a younger self—and fit together into a volume that is universally touching.

In the ten years since Housden published his first volume, TEN POEMS TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE, he has earned a devoted following, compelled by his earnest explanation and accessible introductions to the world of poetry. His selected poems and accompanying essays are neither morbid nor trite, simply a dignified and beautiful expression of the most human emotions.

For those who have found themselves grasping for words of comfort in a critical moment, TEN POEMS TO SAY GOODBYE fills a void, confronting grief and loss with grace and compassion.

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ROGER HOUSDEN is the author of Ten Poems to Change Your Life; Ten Poems to Open Your Heart; Ten Poems to Set You Free; Ten Poems to Last a Lifetime; How Rembrandt Reveals Your Beautiful, Imperfect Self; Seven Sins for a Life Worth Living; Ten Poems to Change Your Life Again & Again; Saved by Beauty; and the novella Chasing Rumi, and is also the editor of Risking Everything: 110 Poems of Love and Revelation and Dancing with Joy. Housden was born in England and now lives in San Francisco.

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