Sunday, 29 July 2012

Guest Spot: Bobbie Coelho, writer of beautiful poetry

Welcome Poet, Bobbie Coelho to my Guest Blogspot

Finding the Light
You are born in the dark of the morning
And you think it’s your destiny light
As you age, you realise it’s a false one
Artificial, easily switched out
In older age, the day breaks
And you blink at the glint of the morn
The pieces of your life fit together
That is the day you are born          (from Bobbie's beautiful book of the same name)
 Tell us about yourself, Bobbie, and how you came to write your book Finding The Light I have always liked poetry, but somebody said she thought I was a true visionary poet, so I started to write.My first poem was written at school, though.I had just read the diary of Anne Frank and it affected me very much.We had to write about a cowboy, so I did, but although he was in a bad position, he had a vision of Anne and he realised he wasn’t so bad.My first poem as an adult was “Island Girl” and I just kept on writing.I think it has saved me from the bitterness I prayed not to become.  
Your poems are very poignant, are they based on your own experiences? Some are, like “Island Girl” and “Freak”, but not all of them, most have a story behind them, though.  For instance, “White Flowers” is about the Beslan School siege and “Premature” was written after seeing a programme about it premature babies.  I want to write poems that make people think.  
Which is your favourite poem and what does it mean to you? If you mean my poems, I would have to say it would be “What is a Soldier to Me?”  They do a wonderful job and protect us, they are the best.  I feel a great thrill that the blood which won the battles of Crecy and Agincourt is still flowing through our soldiers today. “Freak” I like because it was the first time I felt really different.  When people stare and point it is heartbreaking.  English people do not ask, do they?  They just point and stare.  It doesn’t bother me so much now. but still feel I should make a badge which stays “Don’t Stare, Please Ask!” White Flowers is very emotional:  it is about the Beslan School siege and it affected me more than you would ever know.  
Are there any famous poems that you really love and do you have a favourite poet? I have many “favourites”, but I really love “Miracle on St David’s Day” by Gillian Clarke.  I would encourage everyone to read it.  In my opinion it is a masterpiece.  I also love “Not Waving but Drowning”, which reminds me of my life and “Crossing the Bar“ by Tennyson, “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou and “Invictus” by  Henley. I would have to say that Gillian  Clarke is my favourite, she is brilliant.     

   I know you have a debilitating condition Bobbie, how do  you find it affects your writing? Does it inspire you to know that you have overcome an illness to write such a beautiful menagerie of poetry?I have Parkinson’s, which has taught me that life is so short, love is the most important thing in life, but most people don’t realise this.  I also wanted to raise awareness of Parkinson’s which I am proud to say I have done.  Do you like to read novels and if so, what are some of your favourites and why? I love Neville Shute, but he is old fashioned, his most famous book is “A Town Like Alice”.  I love his writing because it shows the good that people do.  When I read “Requiem for a Wren”, I realised that for some, the Second World War was the happiest time of their lives – I had never considered that before.“To Kill a Mockingbird”,  Harper Leebrilliant for many reasons – everyone should read it.“Road of Bones”, Fergal Keane  - just brilliant.  About Kohima “Pride and Prejudice”, Jane Austin  – brilliant observation “Notes from a Small Island “,Bill Bryson – an American who understands the British Psyche “The Vanishing Act of Esme Lomax” by Maggie O’Farrell, made me angry. So many more, I could write all night!    
  If you could be with anyone famous, in the past or present, who would that be and why?Richard III!!! I want to know the truth about the princes in the tower!! 
  Do you have any more plans to write more poetry or a novel perhaps?I don’t have any immediate plans to publish, but I will always write poetry.
  Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years time? Hopefully  with better medication for my condition.  I have been very lucky in that I have achieved the ambition I always wanted – to love and be loved.

Here is one of my favourite poems inspired by this picture

*This picture is a famous one from WW2, showing the
invasion of the Sudetenland, and shows a woman saluting with
one hand and a handkerchief in other, crying.
The Woman in the Picture*
The picture came from the past
Washed with disturbing emotion
From the largest tidal wave
Changing the world forever
As if the very film
Which captured the image
Was laced with the sorrow she felt
What happened to that woman?
Does anybody know?
The world saw it happening
Stood by and did nothing
The world is so tiny, really
There’s no such thing as
“A land far away of which we
know nothing”
She’s my sister and my mother
My father and my brother
Affecting us all, good or bad
We must stick together
The woman in the picture
Has haunted me for years

When I look at her face

I am always reminded

What a broken heart looks like

How potently I see it

And how passionately

it speaks to me.

Bobbie's book can be found here on Amazon and at SilverWoods books


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