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Sebastian Faulks: How Poems That Make Grown Women Cry made me cry


Is it a poet’s job to make the reader weep? Sebastian Faulks is moved to tears by an anthology of verse chosen by women

When I read Poems That Make Grown Women Cry, the collection edited by father and son Anthony and Ben Holden, I cried so much that my family thought I was concealing some terrible news. Take “Daylight Robbery” by Paul Henry: I have witnessed exactly the scene he describes, of a seven-year-old boy suddenly transformed into an independent young man by his first serious haircut, with both my sons, but I didn’t stand back far enough at the time to see the experience for what it was. The poem made me cry with a mixture of happiness and sorrow in reliving what Henry captures so well, but also with regret that I did not sufficiently inhabit the moment in my own life.

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