I LOVED this book so much: warm, honest, informed, generous, original, funny and very touching. It is so various and redeemed from so many hidden corners, it would be difficult to think of an anthology more richly packed. Which of course makes it for me the perfect desert island book. And I can't remember anything of which I have thought, for page after page of surprise and recognition, 'I must keep this to hand.'
A beautiful collection, full of wonderful surprises and old favourites.
The Magic Hour has the powerful charm and the heart-lifting sense of surprise and discovery of the best poetry and the best anthologies. I shall keep it near my favourite chair and give it to many.
An immensely enjoyable collection chosen by poetry lovers on a mission to share their enthusiasm.
What really comes over is the great sunny enthusiasm of Moore and her mates, so that reading her book feels a little like sitting by her fireside drinking a cup of Earl Grey.
Based on her Tuesday afternoon reading group sessions, it contains a hundred poems accompanied by simple commentary, Moore's aim is to take any whiff of the classroom out of the appreciation of poetry, and she succeeds - springing, like Palgrave, delightful surprises (Charles Causley's Eden Rock, Ralph Hodgson's Eve) as well as reminding us of old friends. It would make a super Christmas present.
It is an anthology like no other, rich, varied, unexpected and very approachable. Never patronising, Charlotte's own commentary is gentle, informative and often droll... Arranged by theme, her choices range from mesmerising Old English lyrics to such contemporary stars as Alice Oswald... There are some terrific discoveries to be made: riddles, lyrics, ballads, sonnets and nursery rhymes; poems of love, grief, despair, celebration and joy.
It's a perfect volume for periodic mini-reads and I will be buying some extra copies for Christmas presents.