Poems of Consolation and Hope during Illness
Poetry can have a powerful healing effect on sufferers from serious illness, whether physical or mental
Since classical times, enlightened physicians have sometimes used poetry to bring patients to a healing state so that they could be more effectively treated. Today, following the rise of the Poetry in Healthcare movement, ‘poetry therapists’ are becoming increasingly involved in patient care in hospitals, hospices, care homes and even GPs’ surgeries – matching individual patients’ psychological or spiritual needs with carefully chosen poems, or encouraging them to write their own poems to help them explore feelings of anxiety or distress and develop their self-confidence.
(Go to About Poetry Therapy for more about this.)
The purpose of this website is to build on that movement by 1) telling you about a new anthology of poems suggested by sufferers from severe or chronic illness which they have found especially encouraging, consoling or inspiring; and 2) providing a space where you can post poems which have helped you cope with your own illness.
My name is John, and I have been ill for more than twenty years with ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. For most of that time I was bedbound, in pain and at times deeply depressed, and I have been helped to an extraordinary degree by reading and meditating on poetry by the best poets, living and dead, that responds to my own thoughts and feelings about my illness.
I was sure that there must be many other people who depend on poetry in the same way. To test whether this was true, I wrote articles and letters in support-group and general magazines on the subject of ‘the poetry of consolation’, inviting readers to send me their own ‘life-saving’ favourites. The result was a flood of suggestions and endorsements of the therapeutic value of particular poems. By combining my own choices with the best of the hundreds of others people suggested to me, I compiled this first anthology of therapeutic poetry:
Go to Through Corridors of Light to see what poems it contains and how they are organised. The book is attractively decorated with line drawings, and clearly printed with one poem per page. To order a copy for £7.99 (post free in UK), either for yourself or for someone you know who is seriously ill, see below.
I also invite you to send me your own ‘life-saving’ poems – poems that you turn to for comfort or inspiration, that give you courage or strength, or that change the way you think about being ill. Go to the Visitors’ Page to see poems that have been sent in so far, and enter your own favourite(s) under
Poem Suggestions at the bottom.
Through Corridors of Light
Poems of Consolation in Time of Illness
Royalties to be donated to ME Research UK
232pp attractively decorated throughout with line drawings.
Published in the UK by Lion Hudson at £9.99 and
in the US by Trafalgar Square Publishing @ $14.00
or order direct from me @£7.99 post free (to UK customers).
To pay by cheque, or for overseas customers to ascertain postal cost, please contact me.