Staying Alive : Real Poems for Unreal Times, Paperback

Staying Alive : Real Poems for Unreal Times Paperback

3.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


'Staying Alive' is an international anthology of 500 life-affirming poems fired by belief in the human and the spiritual at a time when much in the world feels unreal, inhuman and hollow.

These are poems of great personal force connecting our aspirations with our humanity, helping us stay alive to the world and stay true to ourselves.

Many people turn to poetry only at unreal times, whether for consolation in loss or affirmation in love, or when facing other extremes and anxieties. 'Staying Alive' includes many of the great modern love poems and elegies, but it also shows the power of poetry in celebrating the ordinary miracle, taking you on a journey around many of the different aspects of everyday life explored in poems.

A strong poem is not just for crisis. Such a poem is there for all times, helping us face or embrace daily change and disruption.

It will also speak to us when nothing seems to be happening, when the poem's importance is in helping us stay alive to the world and stay true to ourselves. 'Staying Alive' has reached a wider readership than any other anthology of contemporary poetry.

It is a landmark in the history of literary publishing. A sequel, 'Being Alive' (2004), and a companion anthology, 'Being Human' (2011), complete this poetry "trilogy".


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Bloodaxe Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Poetry by individual poets
  • ISBN: 9781852245887



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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

A very good anthology of modern poetry. Arranged by themes with introductory essays this is a superb introduction to poetry and a good anthology for those times when taking a whole shelf of volumes just isn't practical. Great for dipping into.

Review by

The perfect poetry anthology for the bedside table. This is a book to pick up for a few moments every day, there will be something to calm you or warm you or give you goosebumps. Staying Alive reminds you of one of the reasons that poetry exists - to capture that fleeting moment and pin it in your memory forever.

Review by

If anyone ever reviews the poems inside an anthology you should disregard it completely. I discovered my favourite poem within these pages, yet the entire collection was not to my taste. That is poetry.

Also by Neil Astley