Ten Bedtime Poems (Volume One)

Selected and Introduced by William Boyd

Why should children have all the fun? Reading poems in bed – to oneself, to each other – is surely one of life’s great pleasures. Ten Bedtime Poems (Volume One), selected by novelist William Boyd, belongs on your bedside table. As he writes in the Introduction, ‘novelists – serious novelists, that is, literary novelists – read a lot of poetry’ and his chosen poems make profoundly beautiful bedtime reading.

William Boyd is the author of three collections of short stories and twelve novels, the most recent of which are Waiting for Sunrise and Solo, the latest James Bond novel.

“Like dreams, poems hold such latent potential to disarm, alarm, delight and to view our world through other eyes.  So instead of your usual nightcap, William Boyd offers you the chance to take a different poet to bed with you each night!  Let their words become your dreams.”

Tamsin Greig


from ‘Out on the lawn I lie in bed’, W. H. Auden
‘The Armadillo’, Elizabeth Bishop
‘Sad Steps’, Philip Larkin
from ‘Preludes I’, T. S. Eliot
‘Evening’, Christopher Reid
‘Champagne’, Medbh McGuckian
‘Songs of Praise’, Derek Mahon
‘Two Figures in Dense Violet Night’, Wallace Stevens
‘A Safe Distance’, Jamie McKendrick
‘Heaven on Earth’, Craig Raine

Illustrated by Judy Stevens.

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"I don't travel anywhere without a book (or three) of poetry in my bag."William Boyd
"...take a different poet to bed with you each night!"Tamsin Greig
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