Reviews

  • "The most beautiful book I have read in a long time."

    Emma Duncan, The Times
  • "This passionate series of engagements with the life of St Francis will stay in my mind for a very long time – I hope forever… This is a poet with a distinctive voice, a command of form and a lightness of touch matched by a depth of heart… Wroe so triumphantly [exercises the imagination] in poem after poem."

    A. N. Wilson, Spectator
  • "[Ann Wroe] turned her formidable gifts to the saint of Assisi in Francis: A Life In Songs. It has a remarkable structure… (of which I am sure the saint himself would approve). It is a book which, written by one individual, manages many voices, and is almost choral in its glory."

    Stuart Kelly, Scotsman, *Books of the Year*
  • "In our secular age, the book seems literarily heretical – triumphantly unfashionable. But do not imagine it to be conventionally devout. It does what poetry is meant to do, and seldom does: it takes you to another place while making you reflect on what it is to be here… Even as a non-believer, you want to hold on to this writing, as if to a book of prayer."

    Kate Kellaway, Observer
  • "A superb verse biography of St Francis, by the queen of the unexpected life-in-brief… This is a book to press into the hands of anyone who has decided they have given up on “difficult modern poetry”. It’s so quietly traditional, so unashamedly lovely, that it seems almost radical[Wroe] recalls John Clare in her close attentiveness to the natural world and the way she conveys a sense of spontaneous joy."

    Tristram Fane Saunders, Telegraph **Poetry Book of the Month**
  • "This extraordinary book is quite haunting… [Francis] is one of the saints who is appealing even in a secular age… this isn’t a book just for the faithful; it’s for lovers of poetry in life and literature... a wonderful little book. "

    Melanie McDonagh, Evening Standard
  • "Each poem is beautiful. The book as a whole knocked me for six."

    A.N. Wilson, The Tablet, **Books of the Year**
  • "Ms Wroe's is a rare and beautiful telling. She takes the miracles of St Francis and sings them in four keys."

    Laura Freeman, Economist
  • "The ever-inventive biographer [Ann Wroe] retells the life of Francis of Assisi in deft, lyrical rhyming verse."

    Daily Telegraph, Books of the Year
  • "The poems themselves are beautiful and cleverWroe is at her exquisite best when directly tackling the most sacred of Christian images."

    Kate Maltby, Financial Times