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Heart-rending, inspirational and all-encompassing, Poems for a Pandemic will undoubtedly become a matchless historic document of how it was to live - and die - during the Covid-19 pandemic. And right now, in June 2020, with most of the world still in the clutches of Covid-19, it’s an invaluably empathic volume that shows we are not alone even when we feel at our loneliest. A book that will move readers to tears, to give thanks for life, and to the NHS.
Poems for a Pandemic came about due to the drive of Angela Marston, a retired Palliative Care Nurse who devoted almost forty years of her life to the NHS. While struck with Covid-19 symptoms, Angela was inspired to write her first poem in years. On recovering she was compelled to “do something meaningful”, and so the anthology was born.
Angela set about collecting poems by people from all walks of life - nurses, doctors, pharmacists, teachers, food bank volunteers – whose varied, powerful thoughts grace this 100-poem collection, with several professional writers adding their voices to the poignant chorus. Her vision was to raise money for the NHS (all proceeds of this anthology will go to NHS Charities Together), and to “record for all eternity the thoughts and feelings of ordinary people at an extraordinary time”. By Jove, she’s done that and more.
The anthology spans raw, elemental subjects - health professionals holding the hands of the dying, acute lockdown loneliness, the fears of the proud relatives of NHS staff - to poems that document shifts in behaviour and collective consciousness – interacting online, staying home to save lives, staying apart on eerie streets, the hailing of new kinds of heroes. Then there’s nine-year-old Harry Husselbee who speaks for all humanity when he writes, “How I wish I could get this virus/And throw it to the moon”. And ten-year-old Cory Yeoman who warns, “Coronavirus you better watch out, because these doctors and nurses don’t want you about. This is our world…Get out! Get out! Get out!” We’re with you, Harry and Cory.
In his stirring foreword Darren Smith, author of the powerful anti-racist poem “You Clap for Me Now”, writes “At its heart poetry is about trying to express something too big for words. Fear. Loneliness. Love. Community. Death.” With that definition in mind, Poems for a Pandemic is the very epitome of what poetry is about.
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A collection of brilliant poems written by people working on the frontline of the Covid-19 pandemic.
All revenues received by HarperCollins directly from sales of this ebook will be donated to NHS Charities Together for their Covid-19 appeal.
Angela Marston is a retired Palliative Care Nurse who spent nearly 40 years in the NHS and Hospice services. She wrote her first poem whilst self-isolating with Covid-19 and, when she recovered, collected poems from other key workers and people affected by the virus.
She created an anthology of poems from nurses, doctors, and teachers; pharmacists and journalists; child protection officers and food bank volunteers. From people aged 9 to 92. From established poets and writers.
Poems for a Pandemic is that anthology.
It is a valuable collection of first-hand accounts – of love, of grief, of fear, and of hope – that explores the global effort to rescue humanity from the teeth of an invisible enemy. And it comes direct from the people that don capes and masks in order to go save the world.
This is history in the making,’ Angela says, ‘and these poems record for all eternity the thoughts and feelings of ordinary people at an extraordinary time.’
Publication date: 18/06/2020
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
|Publication date:||18th June 2020|
|Genres:||Biography / Autobiography, Poetry,|