Speaking in public is something that most of us rarely do and when asked - whether for a wedding, a funeral, a family celebration, a memorial service, or some other occasion - we are often at a loss as to what to say. Often the words of another provide the ideal solution, particularly if those words take the form of poetry. Poets have the ability to express what we want to say in beautiful and affecting language that is far often much better than anything we, ourselves, could produce. It is useful, therefore, to have one of the books on the following list on your bookshelf. There is bound to be the appropriate poem or verse somewhere within its pages that will crystallise your thoughts. And even if you are not standing up in front of people, they are perfect for browsing and finding the words that suit your mood.
Bartlett's Poems for Occasions, ed. G. O'Brien, Little, Brown and Company, (9780316735018), Hardback, £18.99
The ultimate book to help you find the right poem for that special occasion or to match whatever mood you are in. Separated into three sections - the Cycles of Nature, the Phases of Human Life and the Enduring Themes - it contains poems by, amongst hundreds of others, Baudelaire, Blake, Dickinson, Goethe, Sappho, Shakespeare and Dylan Thomas.
One Hundred Favourite Poems: Poems For All Occasions Chosen by Classic FM Listeners, Hodder & Stoughton, (ISBN 9780340920046), Paperback, £8.99
A delightful collection of poems for special occasions and to suit any mood, chosen by the listeners of radio station, Classic FM. Selected poems range from limericks to sonnets and modern classics and from William Wordsworth to Jenny Joseph.
Penguin's Poems for Life, ed. Laura Barber, Penguin Classics, (ISBN 9780140424706), Paperback, £9.99
A book that traces the journey of life in poetry, beginning with birth and continuing through Shakespeare's "seven ages" of human life - childhood, growing up, making a living and making love, family life, getting older, approaching death and ending with poems of mourning and commemoration. All the greats, from Geoffrey Chaucer to Carol Ann Duffy, are represented.
Poems for All Occasions: Perfect for Speeches & Recitals, Flame Tree Publishing, (ISBN 9781847867094), Hardback, £8.99
Including poems by some of our greatest poets, this gorgeous, illustrated book is handily divided into thematic sections - weddings, anniversaries, christenings, funerals and many more.
Poetry Books for... Weddings
Poetry Books for... Funerals
Poetry Books for... Valentine's Day
Poetry Books for... Christmas
Poetry Books for... Lovers
Poetry Books for... Faithful Friends
Poetry Books for... Marvellous Mums
Poetry Books for... Doting Dads
Poetry Books for... Awesome Aunts
Poetry Books for... Favourite Uncles
Poetry Books for... Graceful Grannies
Poetry Books for... Grumpy Grandads
Poetry Books for... Boys
Poetry Books for... Girls
Poetry Books for... Tiny Terrors