"Poetry is deep play. It''s comfort. It's challenge. Just like a friend." - Paul Kelly


Love is Strong as Death is a collection of favourite poems chosen by Kelly himself. The common thread uniting the varied verses is that they all speak to two of literature's greatest themes: love and death - and everything in between. 

It is, as Paul points out in a beautifully written foreword, all around us: in the pop songs that can be heard everywhere we work, shop and play; quoted on ritual occasions such as weddings and funerals; and even in our everyday speech though we may be unaware of it – “it’s neither here nor there”… “tongue-tied”… “cold comfort”… “vanished into thin air” – these phrases all sprang from Shakespeare’s plays which, for the most part, were written in ten syllables lines of verse.

Here is Love is Strong as Death, a hand-picked selection of poems ranging from Shakespearean sonnets to contemporary verse, from works by Australian poets to translated literature, and from pithy one-liners to excerpts from epic narratives. In this wide-ranging and deeply moving anthology, Paul encourages readers to pick poems up and pass them on, to memorise them for fun and to use his selection as a starting point for new discoveries.

Tune in for State of the Art every Wednesday morning from 8.30am on The Breakfast Spread for the latest arts news. 

Cover image by Cybele Malinowski