Through Corridors of Light

Through Corridors of Light: Poems of Consolation in Time of Illness 

This anthology contains poems that have encouraged, consoled and inspired me during my twenty-plus-year illness, combined with others sent to me by hundreds of other sufferers from serious or chronic illness. With the help of friends who are also ill, I chose these poems for their powerful response to the kind of thoughts and feelings that commonly preoccupy the seriously ill but are often difficult to articulate. Not only do they help us face truths about our illness we need to confront if we are to find peace, but as a whole act as a companion on the journey through illness, giving hope and encouragement through the various stages of illness.

Written by poets both well known and unknown during their own times of crisis or overwhelming emotion, these poems offer consolation by confirming and validating our experience of illness; by illuminating the mind with a rich tapestry of visual and emotional imagery; and by opening up new ways of seeing the world and our place within it. Among them are poems of quietness and gratitude, prayers, and spiritual verse.

Above all, the poems have been chosen for their soothing qualities, for the balm of harmonious language and rhythmic coherence that can begin to heal the trauma caused by illness.

Below is a list of Part titles showing how the poems are divided into sections reflecting the progression many of us go through during the course of our illnesses. Click on the Part titles to see what poems are contained in each section. Many can be found on the internet, and a some of them link to poem texts here or in other websites.

 

CONTENTS

 

Part I: O Rose, Thou Art Sick

- poems of distress and confusion written by poets struggling to come to terms with the onset of illness.
By accepting the reality of our illness, we can move beyond symptoms and pains to discover new resources of courage and hope.

Part II: In a Dark Time, the Eye Begins to See

- introducing different ways of looking at our situation, considering how we might adopt new attitudes and expectations in order to find peace.

Part III: Cure Me with Quietness

- the most important lessons we can learn when we are ill are to be quiet in ourselves, to discover new sensibilities , and to find how much there is in life to enjoy and be thankful for.

Part IV: Look to This Day

- poems that inspire new courage and hope, encouraging us to live in the present, and helping us find new purpose in our lives.

Part V: Seasons of Beauty and Hope

- the greatest consolation in illness can be found in the beauty of the seasons of the year, and seeing our own lives as part of the cycle of nature.

Part VI: I Said to My Soul, Be Still

- some of the many ways in which poets have explored their understanding of the spiritual dimension of their lives.
Engaging with these insights can help us explore our own higher intuitions.

Part VII: Let Evening Come

- it can be immensely consoling to see how others have approached their death, and to view our lives from the perspective of our own end, however close or far off it may seem.


‘[A] wonderful book… Here I am understood… These poems…reverse negativity and encourage joy… For those who are not used to appreciating poetry it is also an invaluable introduction, peppered with subtle instruction and encouragement’
- Action for ME’s InterAction magazine.

‘This wonderful book has opened a window to my soul…helping me through the long journey of my recovery [from cancer]… Through its poems, it expresses very beautifully and accurately what one cannot say or describe… It is a friend to those who are suffering and a teacher to those who are not. It is truly excellent, a must read!’
- Zina, Amazon review.

‘A fierce and loving book of poems’ – John Fox, director of the American Institute of Poetic Medicine.

‘In this beautiful book [the editor] has given us the gift of a voice – eloquent, gracious and affirming, thank you!… Anyone who has lived with chronic illness knows the wretched sense of helplessness and how weakened the life force becomes, when faced daily with pain and failure. This book brings solace… I profoundly recommend [it] not only to those living with chronic illness, but also to those who stand on the sidelines, wanting to help, be they family, friends or professionals’ – Amy, ME sufferer, Amazon review.

‘This beautiful book is full of rich, poignant, uplifting words that really do console … Most of the anthology contains poetry by well-known poets – Mary Oliver, W B Yeats, John Donne, Christina Rossetti, Shakespeare, the Bible, Tagore – they all have words of consolation and hope for a life lived with illness. The introduction is both personal and universal, communicating eloquently how poetry helped the editor, and how it can help all of us, in times of sickness. The book is pleasingly structured, giving a sense of the healing journey, from sickness and despair through to peace, joy and acceptance’ – Jan, former ME sufferer and now a therapeutic trainer, Amazon review.

‘A beautiful collection that embraces most eloquently not only the dark, gritty and hopeless places that illness takes us, but also to the rich, boundless depths of ourselves where true hope is kindled…What a wonderful thing you have done here!’ – Amanda, hospice care volunteer, in correspondence.

‘I cannot tell you have grateful I am for the poems you have found for your anthology… There is always one to answer to my mood, whether I am stressed or despondent, bored or hyper, or just need the warm embrace of beautiful words that poetry can offer’ – Eleonor M, nurse and cancer survivor, in correspondence.

‘One of our dearest friends has been given just two more months to live… [Your book] had been a godsend. While words fail us at such times, poetry of the kind you’ve gathered in your wonderful work almost saves the day’
- Hazhir T, journalist, in correspondence.

‘I believe Through Corridors of Light is an important collection… I now recommend it to many of my patients as a resource and a consolation, and to the medical students and young doctors who come to my Practice’
- Dr John E, GP, in correspondence.

‘I would not hesitate to recommend this volume to, or buy it for, anyone who is in need of consolation or comfort because of illness or some other reason… [The poems] offer much [of both], enabling the darkness to be pierced…by shafts of light and glimers of hope – things that are so desperately needed and longed for… Go for it! This book is lovely! – C Aldis, Amazon review.

‘As an Anglican priest, I frequently find myself “walking alongside” those who, through sickness, loss, or bereavement, are making their weary way through a dark experience in search of light. I highly recommend this anthology to all those who are called upon to make such a journey’ – Revd Margaret S, in correspondence.

‘An excellent anthology … very well-chosen and well-constructed … and I recommend it very warmly to anyone with an interest in poetry as well as to those living with illness – either their own or that of someone they love’
-  Sid, Amazon review.

Through Corridors of Light jacket

Through Corridors of Light

Poems of Consolation in Time of Illness

Royalties to be donated to ME Research UK

 232pp attractively illustrated throughout with line drawings.
Published in the UK by Lion Hudson @£9.99 and
in the US by Trafalgar Square Publishing @$14.00
or order direct from me @£7.99 post free (UK customers).
To pay by cheque, or for overseas customers
to ascertain postal cost, please contact me.