From ancient Greece and Rome (Sappho, Marcellus Empiricus) to the current Covid 19 crisis (Eavan Boland’s ‘Quarantine’), poets have responded with sensitivity and insight to the troubles of the human body and mind. Poems of Healing is a small treasury of their words, illuminating many different experiences of illness, injury and convalescence, from John Donne’s ‘Hymne to God My God, In My Sicknesse’ to Thom Gunn’s ‘The Man with Night Sweats’; from Anne Finch’s ‘Spleen’ to Jane Kenyon’s ‘Prognosis’; from Emily Dickinson’s ‘The Soul has Bandaged moments’ to Seamus Heaney’s ‘Miracle’.
Here are poems from around the world, by Baudelaire, Hugo, Rudaki and Cavafy; by Masaoka Shiki, Miroslav Holub and Zbigniew Herbert. Shakespeare and Milton; Tennyson and Emily Bronte; Charlotte Mew, Sylvia Plath, Wallace Stevens, W. H. Auden, Tony Harrison and Carol Ann Duffy are all present at the sickbed.
Messages of hope in the midst of pain – in such masterpieces as Adam Zagajewski’s ‘Try to Praise the Mutilated World’, Wislawa Szymborska’s ‘The End and the Beginning’ and Stevie Smith’s ‘Away, Melancholy’ – make this a perfect gift for anyone on the road to healing.
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- Everyman's Library
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