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Book Rec: Of Love and Hope

This poetry anthology describes itself as "a celebration of all aspects of life and love".

But Of Love and Hope is more than just that.

I found it quite by chance in my last foray into Waterstones, when I had thought to add to my collection of anthogies of the Romantic poets. (I have been a poetry-lover as long as I remember and have shelves full of verse collections.)

But this one when I pulled out and read the back cover meant something more to me. 100% of all profits from its sale will be donated to the UK charities Breakthrough Breast Cancer and Breast Cancer Care.

I'm lucky with my family - no blood relative has yet had a breast cancer diagnosis. But friends of mine have and so have friends of the family and mothers of my friends. Like all women, this disease has touched my life.

As well as poems by Shakespeare, Burns, the Brownings, Keats, Byron etc and more modern poets like Carol Ann Duffy, Wendy Cope and Benjamin Zephaniah, the anothogy also contains poems about cancer - from finding the lump, to diagnosis, treatment, survival... and death, too. There are some heartbreaking poems that Sir Paul McCartney wrote about Linda.

Some of the poems in this book may make you cry - but some may make you smile and others make you laugh and others make you think (such as the one about buying rubber nipples post masectomy). And while bittersweet, the general tone and feeling of the whole collection really, truly is Of Love and Hope.

I've written and deleted this post half a dozen times, wondering if this is really not the best time for my f'list to see this. But even without the donation, I find this anthology an astonishing collection of how poetry can and does speak to the human condition - and the human heart and spirit. Sometimes I - humans - need to say it and hear it in poetry - "the best words in their best order" (Coleridge).


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 16th, 2015 07:55 pm (UTC)
Very much a good time to post from my persoective. I *love* poetry!
Jul. 21st, 2015 08:33 pm (UTC)
*HUGS* Well if *you're* okay with "Here is a poetry anthology sold in aid of cancer charities, including poems about cancer", then all other sensitivies don't count as much for me.

I think it's a gorgeous book. And besides, if the charities get one more sale from my plug, that's something.
Jul. 17th, 2015 12:03 am (UTC)
I came across a theory somewhere that poetry can access the right brain, so words apparently banal can evoke responses beyond the merely rational. Don't know if there's anything to it.

"Yonder stands your orphan with his gun / crying like a fire in the sun..."
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


Dee Natsuko

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