Today Elizabeth St John reviews The Lesson, a book of poetry by Bobbie Coelho. And there's a giveaway! The author has kindly offered 2 copies as a prize. To be in with a chance of winning, simply leave a comment below or on our Facebook page.
I have always been interested in poetry, so when I was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2002 I turned to poetry to make sense of what was happening.
Following on from Finding the Light and Reflecting the Light, I feel I still have something to say. In this collection I've touched on a mixture of themes, some shocking, others light-hearted, and all personal to me. For example, one poem is based on the tragic events of Aberfan in 1966, while another was inspired by my sister’s wedding anniversary.
I hope you find something within The Lesson that resonates with you too.
Bobby Coehlo’s Anthology, The Lesson, is an exquisite collection of prose and poetry that speaks of the passage of time and all the ways we measure and capture memories and moments. Within each beautifully wrought piece of writing runs a common theme; time is insubstantial, life is fleeting, and that to be conscious of the precious moments – a wedding day, a granddaughter’s daisy chain – is to capture the essence of life itself.
Although no one likes to be reminded of inevitability of death, Ms Coehlo does so in a simple, direct and sometimes funny way, and her captivating choice of subjects evokes memories of love and loss shared by all. At the same, she is not afraid to confront death full on, and some of her more wrenching poems – a tribute to the Aberfan disaster, a musing on the battlefields of Ypres, cut to the quick.
Poetry is an opportunity to share memories, feelings and philosophies across multiple points of view, and in my opinion, Ms Coehlo’s work is an important reminder that all of us are on the same road to a common ending. She just expresses it better than most. Aptly named “The Lesson”, this anthology is one to be kept close at hand to read over and over. A memorable collection.
About the author: Bobbie Coelho was born near Norwich and now lives in Hampshire with her husband She has two stepsons and two granddaughters. She has always enjoyed poetry, but after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2002, she was particularly compelled to write as a way of putting things into perspective. Bobbie ahs written two other anthologies: Finding the Light and Reflecting the Light: she is a is a great fan of Forces Poetry (flowforall.org), and has had work published in two of their anthologies, Voices of the Poppies and Poems of the Poppies.
“My wish is that when people read this book, it will make them think a little more and reflect on their journey and realise how luck we are to have the sun on our backs.
About the reviewer: Elizabeth St.John was brought up in England and lives in California. To inform her writing, she has tracked down family papers and residences from Nottingham Castle, Lydiard Park, and Castle Fonmon to the Tower of London. Although the family sold a few castles and country homes along the way (it's hard to keep a good castle going these days), Elizabeth's family still occupy them - in the form of portraits, memoirs, and gardens that carry their imprint. And the occasional ghost. But that's a different story...
Elizabeth's Historical Fiction series "The Lydiard Chronicles" follows the fortunes of the 17th Century St.John family through royal favor and civil war. Her latest novel, By Love Divided, continues the story of Lucy St.John, The Lady of the Tower. This powerfully emotional novel tells of England's great divide, and the heart-wrenching choices one family faces.