I picked up Ten Poems to Set You Free because, of late, I’ve wanted to learn to read, understand, and enjoy poetry. It's not just important; it's necessary. I believe that, and want to feel it, too. I thought ten a manageable number, and Housden’s explanations might improve my enjoyment. I was right.
The third poem, Throw Yourself Like Seed by Miguel de Unamuno, immediately grabbed my attention, and I read it several times. His call to Shake off this sadness, and recover your spirit, comes at a perfect time. Housden’s response provides context; Unamuno was dragged from his classroom during the Spanish Civil war for his criticism of the fascist cause. Real or imagined, it’s a threat I feel coming soon, and I am now smitten and completely in love with this poem.
From Rumi to Mary Oliver, this collection is far-reaching and perfectly balanced. Housden, in his analysis, is himself often poetic. If you want to know what you are here to do, look around you, at the life you already have. It will tell you what to do next if you follow the deepest thing you feel inside.
Ten Poems is a lovely collection, perfect for those wishing to dip a toe into the unexpected and miraculous.