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These poems were written during ten years recovering from a life-threatening brain haemorrhage. Poetry writing itself began for me then. The severity of the injury released hidden and repressed feelings, it began a process of rewiring my brain, focusing my mind on what life really meant, or should mean, for me. I was warned that I would probably cry more easily than before. That was both true and beneficial.
The poems began before I left hospital. They document, often tangentially, that period, from awakening from a six-hour coma with a mysteriously fractured spine, through several years of rehabilitation, remembering and decoding – the good things as well as the bad: childhood and adolescence revisited, adult relationships reassessed, and most importantly, what is important now that I am fully recovered.
Awakening from that death-like coma was a rebirth. When things were difficult, it helped to remember blue.
"Colin Bell's first collection takes the reader on intense, vital tender journeys through exotic and historic landscapes, around hospital corridors and wards, exploring Manhattan, camden, Lewes, Sicily and the farthest reaches of the mind, to encounter hummingbirds, nudes, pastis and so much more.
This book is a whirlwind of imagination realised in poems that are rich - sometimes almost clotted - with imagery It is a story of rebirth and revelation after life threatening illness and coma, and the poems document the breadth and depth of a life as well as the dance and pure pleasure of using language inventively."
Clare Best, Frogmore Papers
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