REVIEW: Bright Poems for Dark Days by Julie Sutherland

October 23, 2021

Bright Poems for Dark Days

Julie Sutherland

Ah poetry, what is it good for? Absolutely everything. I adore a good anthology making me gasp at the magnificent word play of our grand tradition of poets. Opened at random this book inspires, delights, challenges and touches you deep, deep down in your darkened core.  Opened when seeking some support in the darkest days of life it shines a light along a path well-trodden by others, offering hope, solace, understanding and – where there is no hope to be had – just comfort. That as breathing, living human we must feel, no matter how that feeling may take us to places that hurt.  Sometimes just knowing that someone else has been there, through it, over it or endured it can help just enough to get us through another day, other-times the chink of light wrapped up in poems, leaps out at us and throws illumination across the shade.

Sutherland has amassed an eclectic group of poets here, from uber modern like Carol Ann Duffy & Maya Angelou to weathered classics from John Donne & Emily Dickinson, the range is impressive.  Some fun, frivolous and fancy, others profound & pertinent.  It touches the spot. The book is set into eight parts on the themes of hope, resilience & courage, joy, nature & escape, love, tranquillity, gratitude and comfort, and each segment has some supporting writing exploring good mental health practice and provides a much-needed dose of hopefulness and happiness in turbulent times.

The warm, uplifting illustrations from Carolyn Gavin which accompany many poems are gloriously meditative and burst with colour, with a riot of flowery gentleness, finely detailed with hidden surprises which I could look at for hours. A superb gift for someone going through a difficult time, and a treat for yourself to remind you of the wonder of being present in the moment and reassuring that it will pass.

Hardback: Out now £ 12.99

More info or to order this book from the publishers website here: