Poetry & Language Books

Our poetry books are perfect for any language lover. From powerful poems from the wartime era to fun nonsense poems by today's best contemporary poets.

  • YORA

    A Year of Reading Aloud (Hardback)

    Georgina Rodgers

    (1) Hand-picked favourites
    Reciting poetry is one of life's pleasures, no matter what your age. Memorising the words exercises the brain and gives it strength to learn and remember other information.

    Celebrating the power of spoken word, this gift book contains 52 short poems for you to share and read aloud on a week-by-week basis. Each poem is accompanied by an explanation of its key messages along with some insight into the works and life of the poet.

    Featuring both established poets and new favourites and language some may deem offensive, this book will capture your imagination and inspire you to follow in the rich oral tradition of sharing tales while reading aloud.
    • £5.99
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  • SHCM

    The Shakespeare Companion (Paperback)

    Hand-picked favourites
    Featuring summaries of the Bard's plays and characters, The Shakespeare Companion is the perfect read for anyone interested in his works, or those who are new to one of the most influential writers of all time.

    Complete with a foreword by Dame Judi Dench, this book will enlighten you about Shakespeare's writing and help you enjoy his plays even more. It provides synopses of plays and even a resume of each performance's history.

    There is also a look back at the history of Shakespearean theatre and those plays that he did not write that have been wrongly attributed to him.
    • £4.99
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  • Clearance
    CRPM

    Classic Readings & Poems (Hardback)

    Jane McMorland-Hunter

    (1) Hand-picked favourites
    Classic Readings & Poems for Weddings, Christenings, Funerals and All Occasions will help ensure you have the right words for every important life event.

    Hand-picked by Jane McMorland Hunter, the book features everything from familiar favourites to lesser-known, yet no less stunning, pieces that can mark anything from a birth to a death; an engagement to a retirement and a wedding to a memorial service.

    Among the poems and readings are works from the poets Longfellow, Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson as well as famous writers like William Blake, Wordsworth and William Shakespeare. There are also Apache prayers and Irish blessings, as well as quotes from books and speeches that mark moments of new life, unions, loss and solitude.
    • £3.99
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  • RITS

    The River in the Sky (Hardback)

    Clive James

    (1) Hand-picked favourites
    Beloved broadcaster and journalist Clive James was given a terminal diagnosis many years ago and in this book-length poem he tackles the subject of mortality with candour and charm.

    Although unable to leave his house in Cambridge due to ill health, Clive remains in good spirits and lets his mind take you on a journey that captures 'the fragile treasures of his life'.

    Funny, wise and emotional, this book finds Clive looking back over emotionally resonant personal moments, celebrating his interests and accepting his fate. He also focuses on the fact that he is only one bright spot in an entire galaxy filled with stars.
    • £4.99
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  • CSEGD

    Assurances (Paperback)

    J. O. Morgan,JO Morgan

    Hand-picked favourites
    J.O. Morgan's Assurances is the winner of the Costa Poetry Award 2018.

    A war-poem both historic and frighteningly topical, it begins in the 1950s during a period of vigilance and dread in the middle of the Cold War: the long stand-off between nuclear powers, where the only defence was the threat of mutually assured destruction.

    Using a mix of versed and unversed passages, Morgan places moments of calm reflection alongside the tensions inherent in guarding against such a permanent threat. A work of variations and possibilities, we hear the thoughts of those involved who are trying to understand and justify their roles. We examine the lives of civilians who are not aware of the impending danger, as well as those who are.
    • £4.99
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  • BGSCD 14 years +

    Blood Brothers (Paperback)

    Willy Russell

    A Liverpudlian West Side Story: twin brothers are separated at birth because their mother cannot afford to keep them both. She gives one of them away to wealthy Mrs Lyons and they grow up as friends in ignorance of their fraternity until the inevitable quarrel unleashes a blood-bath. 'Willy Russell is less concerned with political tub-thumping than with weaving a close-knit story about the working of fate and destiny ...it carries one along with it in almost unreserved enjoyment" Guardian One of the longest-running and most successful ever West End musicals, Blood Brothers premiered at the Liverpool Playhouse in January 1983.
    • £7.69
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  • BMFIK

    Othello (Paperback)

    William Shakespeare

    Edited, Introduced and Annotated by Cedric Watts, Research Professor of English Literature, University of Sussex. The Wordsworth Classics' Shakespeare Series, with Henry V and The Merchant of Venice as its inaugral volumes, presents a newly-edited sequence of William Shakespeare's works. The textual editing takes account of recent scholarship while giving the material a careful reappraisal. Othello has long been recognised as one of the most powerful of Shakespeare's tragedies. This is an intense drama of love, deception, jealousy and destruction. Desdemona's love for Othello, the Moor, transcends racial prejudice; but the envious Iago conspires to devastate their lives. In its vivid rendering of racism, sexism, contested identities, and the savagery lurking within civilisation, Othello is arguably the most topical and accessible tragedy from Shakespeare's major phase as a dramatist. Productions on stage and screen regularly renew its power to engross, impress and trouble the imagination.
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  • BMFHX

    Romeo and Juliet (Paperback)

    William Shakespeare

    Edited, introduced and annotated by Cedric Watts, Research Professor of English Literature, University of Sussex. The Wordsworth Classics' Shakespeare Series presents a newly-edited sequence of William Shakespeare's works. The textual editing takes account of recent scholarship while giving the material a careful reappraisal. Romeo and Juliet is the world's most famous drama of tragic young love. Defying the feud which divides their families, Romeo and Juliet enjoy the fleeting rapture of courtship, marriage and sexual fulfilment; but a combination of old animosities and new coincidences brings them to suicidal deaths. This play offers a rich mixture of romantic lyricism, bawdy comedy, intimate harmony and sudden violence. Long successful in the theatre, it has also generated numerous operas, ballets and films; and these have helped to make Romeo and Juliet perennially topical.
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  • BLYFE

    Macbeth (Paperback)

    William Shakespeare

    Edited, introduced and annotated by Cedric Watts, Professor of English Literature at the University of Sussex.

    Shakespeare's Macbeth is one of the greatest tragic dramas the world has known. Macbeth himself, a brave warrior, is fatally impelled by supernatural forces, by his proud wife, and by his own burgeoning ambition.

    As he embarks on his murderous course to gain and retain the crown of Scotland, we see the appalling emotional and psychological effects on both Lady Macbeth and himself. The cruel ironies of their destiny are conveyed in poetry of unsurpassed power. In the theatre, this tragedy remains perennially engrossing.
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  • AADUG 14 years +

    An Inspector Calls (Paperback)

    JB Priestley

    Written by English novelist, playwright, scriptwriter and broadcaster, J.B. Priestley. First produced in 1946, An Inspector Calls went on to become a major film in 2015 and won an award for Best Single Drama at the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards 2016.

    It is Priestley's most famous play, in which he demonstrates the horrid consequences of poverty and inequality whilst sustaining a gripping detective thriller storyline.

    The other plays include Time and the Conways and I Have Been Here Before, which explore the idea of precognition and pits fate against free will. Meanwhile, The Linden Tree challenges preconceived ideas of history and how life should be after the war.
    • £6.99
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    BFBGJ

    Romeo and Juliet (Paperback)

    William Shakespeare

    HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night.' Arguably the greatest love story ever told, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet continues to touch modern audiences with its passionate depiction of the tragic romance between two young lovers. With a bitter feud between their respective families, Romeo and Juliet's love is troubled from the start, and through their relationship, Shakespeare shows the fine line between love, hatred, comedy and tragedy.
    • £1.99
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    BFPAT

    Macbeth (Paperback)

    William Shakespeare

    HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'Stars, hide your fires! Let not light see my black and deep desires.' One of Shakespeare's darkest and most violent tragedies, Macbeth's struggle between his own ambition and his loyalty to the King is dramatically compelling. As those he kills return to haunt him, Macbeth is plagued by the prophecy of three sinister witches and the power hungry desires of his wife.
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  • BXVLN

    Heroes (Paperback)

    Stephen Fry

    Stephen Fry's companion to Mythos finds the popular comedian, actor, presenter and director retelling incredible stories of mortals, monsters, quests and adventures.

    Stephen reveals all about Jason's journey aboard the Argo in search of the Golden Fleece; wittily examines how Oedipus attempted to solve the riddle of the Sphinx; and discovers how Bellerophon captured the winged horse Pegasus to slay the monster Chimera.

    These action-packed stories show just how brave humans can be - and exactly what we're capable of...
    • £5.99
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    BFBIC

    The Tempest (Paperback)

    William Shakespeare

    HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'We are such stuff As dreams are made on; and our little life Is rounded with a sleep.' Magical and dreamlike in its tone, Shakespeare's The Tempest begins with a storm of epic proportions and a shipwreck. Banished from Italy, Prospero lives on a remote island with his daughter. Using his magic, he vows to seek revenge on the injustice dealt to him by his brother, but in doing so, Shakespeare questions the difficulty of distinguishing 'men' from 'monsters', and the realities of justice.
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  • BQKMW

    Mythos (Paperback)

    Stephen Fry

    (1)
    Award-winning comedian and bestselling author Stephen Fry retells the greatest myths and legends ever told in this lively, humorous book.

    Readers will gaze in wonder as wise Athena is born from the cracking open of the great heads of Zeus and follow doomed Persephone into the dark and lonely realm of the Underworld. We shiver when Pandora opens her jar of evil torments and watch with joy as the legendary love affair between Eros and Psyche unfolds.

    Mythos captures these extraordinary myths for our modern age - in all their dazzling and deeply human relevance.
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  • AJWGW

    Poems from the First World War (Paperback)

    Gaby Morgan

    Poems from the First World War is a moving and powerful collection of poems written by soldiers, nurses, mothers, sweethearts and family and friends who experienced WWI from different standpoints. It records the early excitement and patriotism, the bravery, friendship and loyalty of the soldiers, and the heartbreak, disillusionment and regret as the war went on to damage a generation. It includes poems from Wilfred Owen, Rupert Brooke, Vera Brittain, Eleanor Farjeon, Edward Thomas, Laurence Binyon, John McCrae, Siegfried Sassoon and many more. The Imperial War Museum was founded in 1917 to collect and display material relating to the 'Great War', which was still being fought. Today IWM is unique in its coverage of conflicts, especially those involving Britain and the Commonwealth, from the First World War to the present. They seek to provide for, and to encourage, the study and understanding of the history of modern war and wartime experience.
    • £5.19
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  • BJXLV

    War Horse (Paperback)

    Nick Stafford

    I want you to do yourself proud, Joey. You go and drive those Germans back where they've come from, and then come home to me. At the outbreak of World War one, Joey, young Albert's beloved horse, is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France. Caught up in enemy fire, fate takes Joey on an extraordinary odyssey, serving on both sides before finding himself alone in no man's land. But Albert cannot forget Joey and, still not old enough to enlist, he embarks on a treacherous mission to find him and bring him home. Nick Stafford's adaptation for the stage of the celebrated novel by the Children's Laureate (2003-05) Michael Morpurgo leads us on a gripping journey through history. War Horse premiered at the National Theatre, London, in October 2007.
    • £9.09
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  • BIMZN

    Macbeth the Graphic Novel (Paperback)

    William Shakespeare

    This is William Shakespeare's full and unabridged play in comic book form. This full colour graphic novel presents "The Scottish Play" just as Shakespeare intended: in its original and unabridged format. Ideal for purists, students and readers who will appreciate the unaltered text. "Macbeth" is probably the most dramatic of Shakespeare's tragedies and this version will give you a brand new and totally fulfilling view of the sheer genius of Shakespeare's story telling. Witchcraft, superstition, murder - it's all here! Featuring stunning artwork, and full of action, atmosphere and intrigue from start to finish; this new treatment of The Bard's wonderful tragedy will have you on the edge of your seat. It's 11th century Scotland. Macbeth, Thane of Glamis, is one of King Duncan's greatest war captains. Upon returning from a battle with the rebellious Thane of Cawdor, Macbeth and Banquo encounter three witches, who prophecy that Macbeth will become Thane of Cawdor and then King. They also prophecy that Banquo will become the father of kings. When Lady Macbeth hears this, she is determined to push her husband to take fate into his own hands and make himself king by murdering Duncan. Macbeth is reluctant to harm Duncan. But, when the King makes arrangements to visit Macbeth's castle, the opportunity presents itself. Pressed on by his wife, Macbeth kills Duncan and blames the King's drunken attendants, who he also kills. However, Macbeth is racked with guilt and begins to see apparitions. When the body is discovered, Malcolm and Donalbain, the King's sons, are suspicious of Macbeth and flee for their lives. To everyone else, it looks as if the sons have been the chief conspirators and Macbeth is crowned King of Scotland. Banquo's suspicions grow, based on his encounter with the witches and Macbeth is wary of the second prophecy concerning Banquoa's offspring. Macbeth hires assassins to kill Banquo and his son, Fleance. Banquo is murdered that night, but Fleance escapes. The bloody ghost of Banquo appears to Macbeth at a feast, tormenting his already guilty conscience. In addition, Macduff, once a comrade of Macbeth, has fled after the King's sons to England, as he also suspects Macbeth. In revenge, Macbeth butchers Macduff's entire household. Macduff and the King's sons raise an army in England and march against Macbeth, who is given another prophecy by the witches, as he prepares for the assault. They tell him his throne is safe until Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane and he will not die by the hand of any man born of a woman. Macbeth now feels invincible. Lady Macbeth, on the other hand, has been slowly driven mad by her dreams, in the wake of Duncan's murder. She sleepwalks and eventually kills herself. Macbeth learns that many of his lords are deserting and joining Malcolm's army, which approaches Dunsinane under cover of boughs, which they've cut from the trees of Birnam Wood. Macbeth and Macduff eventually meet on the bloody battlefield. Macbeth laughs derisively, relating the witches' prophecy. But Macduff retorts that he was from his mother's womb untimely ripp'd and not (technically) of woman born. The play ends with the death of Macbeth and Malcolm is crowned King of Scotland.
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  • AZWOO

    Antigone (Paperback)

    Anne Carson

    When her dead brother is decreed a traitor, his body left unburied beyond the city walls, Antigone refuses to accept this most severe of punishments. Defying her uncle who governs, she dares to say 'No'. Forging ahead with a funeral alone, she places personal allegiance before politics, a tenacious act that will trigger a cycle of destruction. Renowned for the revelatory nature of his work, Ivo van Hove first enthralled London audiences with his ground-breaking Roman Tragediesseen at the Barbican in 2009. Drawing on his 'ability to break open texts calcified by tradition' (Guardian), the director now turns to a classic Greek masterpiece.
    • £8.69
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  • BWUYY

    Bedtime Stories for Stressed Out Adults (Hardback)

    Various

    (1)
    'Dreamy' STYLIST 'Calm and restore an anxious mind before sleep... the most beautiful book that will, without a doubt, put you in the mood for some zzzzzs.' the SUN 'Hurrah for a book that draws us away from the cold blue light of the smart phone and into the soothing glow of poems, short stories and extracts' The Simple Things magazine Introduced by Lucy Mangan * * * Tales to soothe tired souls. A night time companion for frazzled adults, including calming stories and poems for a good night's sleep. * * * This cheering book of best loved short tales, extracts and poems will calm and restore an anxious mind before sleep. A good night's sleep is essential for our well being and our health, but in our busy lives sleep is often poor and overlooked. Now is the time to stop a while and find consolation and wonder in other worlds where all is well and sleep just a page or two away. From classic stories by Oscar Wilde, Guy de Maupassant and Katherine Mansfield, to friendly tales of our childhoods, to poetry that reminds us of the simple joys of life, this lovingly curated book will soothe a tired mind and gently carry you to the peaceful land of sleep. So switch off, snuggle down and allow yourself to escape into new worlds and old; magical, mysterious and tender realms that will accompany you to your own sweet dreams.
    • £13.59
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  • BJWLA

    Noughts and Crosses (Paperback)

    Malorie Blackman

    "Noughts and Crosses" is about a black girl called Sephy and a white boy called Callum and their friendship in a world that's divided by the colour of your skin - and how their feelings for each other grow as they grow older and grow up. As Malorie Blackman herself says: 'I wanted to turn society as we know it on its head, with new names for the major divisions, ie Noughts (the underclass) and Crosses (the majority, ruling society). I wanted to see this new world through the eyes of the main two characters, Callum (a nought) and Sephy (a Cross).'
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  • ASXGA

    Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts I & II (Special Rehearsal Edition) (Hardback)

    JK Rowling

    Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London's West End on 30th July 2016. It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn't much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.
    • £15.89
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  • BXXMF

    Shakespeare's Sonnets (Paperback)

    William Shakespeare

    Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May And summer's lease hath all too short a date William Shakespeare wrote some of the greatest poetry in all world literature, in compact sonnets bursting with beautiful imagery and timeless insights about love, life, and human nature. This pocket edition makes available to those who love the words of the Immortal Bard all 154 of his exquisite sonnets. Shakespeare's Sonnets is one of Barnes & Noble's Collectible Editions classics. Each volume features authoritative texts by the world's greatest authors in an elegantly designed bonded-leather binding, with distinctive gilt edging.
    • £11.29
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  • BUGRM

    Leaves of Grass (Hardback)

    Walt Whitman

    Leaves of Grass is Walt Whitman's glorious poetry collection, first published in 1855, which he revised and expanded throughout his lifetime. It was ground-breaking in its subject matter and in its direct, unembellished style. Part of the Macmillan Collector's Library; a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket sized classics with gold foiled edges and ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover. This edition is edited and introduced by Professor Bridget Bennett. Whitman wrote about the United States and its people, its revolutionary spirit and about democracy. He wrote openly about the body and about desire in a way that completely broke with convention and which paved the way for a completely new kind of poetry. This new collection is taken from the final version, the Deathbed edition, and it includes his most famous poems such as `Song of Myself' and `I Sing the Body Electric'.
    • £7.99
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Whether you’re looking for powerful, poignant and stirring poetry, or rib-tickling rhymes guaranteed to get laughs, you’re sure to find the perfect poetry books for you in our stunning selection.

Classic favourites to treasure

Our range of poetry books includes timeless classic poetry, such as the works of Virgil and Homer, William Blake, John Milton and many more – not to mention the ever-popular works of William Shakespeare.

Modern masterpieces

Alongside our wide range of treasured classics is our striking selection of modern poetry books. This includes shocking war poems and thought-provoking contemporary poetry from the likes of Carol Ann Duffy and Seamus Heaney, as well as the wonderfully whimsical works of such poets as Michael Rosen and Spike Milligan.

Explore our selection for your new favourites

Discover your new favourite poems amongst our range of the very best poetry books. Whether it’s lyrical limericks, beautiful verse or epic poetic sagas you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it all in our selection of poetry books.