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Sometimes I write words

A collection of poems by a Baptist church secretary speaks hope to all who have suffered the loss of a loved one

John Hermon, the secretary of King’s Sutton Baptist Church (Northamptonshire), spent most of his working life as a teacher in both primary and secondary schools. He later served as a language trainer for mission students, but since retirement has developed a new passion as a writer and a poet. What prompted this new adventure?

John Hermon poetryA primary source of inspiration for these poems has been bereavement. Six years ago John lost his wife Mandy to cancer. Much of his writing since that time has been devoted to charting a course through grief and loss to a new hope rooted in faith of steel. This journey has of course been intense and personal but John, who has two children and five grandchildren, hopes the writing will speak hope to all who have suffered the loss of a loved one.

His collection contains poems for various seasons of the heart, helping the reader to find beauty in life amidst the pain of death. It comprises carefully crafted pieces on a range of themes as John comes to terms with the loss of his wife Mandy. Touching upon Easter, Christmas, and various biblical narratives, the poems give the reader glimpses of divine beauty, love and faithfulness. John’s writing on the grief he experienced at Mandy’s passing is reminiscent of the lament psalm in scripture, a candid conversation with God on the questions of life and its pain.

But this collection isn’t exclusively about bereavement. The opening and closing lines speak of new beginnings, the womb of the dawn of God, and light is a recurrent theme. God in whom is light and life reveals himself to man through his word, through nature, through the seasons and, above all, through Jesus.

His sense of wonder at creation and awe-struck mindfulness of God permeate the range of poems that will speak in every season of life, but particularly to those dealing with personal loss.

Why write poetry? Poetry, like music, is a medium which facilitates and enhances profound communication between heart and heart, between soul and wounded soul. It distils life experience into a form which speaks beyond the dictionary definition of the words employed to touch the innermost spirit of the sensitive reader.

John HermonWhy write at all? For John there is only one reason. He has the desire to make his lived experience available to others through the medium of his writing. He says, 'I write because I have a conviction that what I have experienced in bereavement, in a life lived in the presence of God, will resonate with others on their journey and encourage them on their pilgrimage.'

He adds, 'I love writing, It’s is an act of self-indulgence, if you wish. But this is not the only reason why I write. I write for those who read and pray that the words I have crafted may be a channel through which God may touch their life.'

Sometimes I Write Words by John Hermon is published by Instant Apostle and available from Christian bookshops or online in both paperback and electronic formats.

Baptist Times, 10/10/2013
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