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Poems For Ukraine: 'A Word In Edgeways'


Up and down the country all sorts of fundraising initiatives are taking place in response to the humanitarian catastrophe caused by the invasion of Ukraine. As his own contribution to efforts by his parishioners, Canon Rob Esdaile has put together a little volume of poems, titled, 'A Word In Edgeways'. This is his fifth collection, following '50:50', 'Renew, Refresh, Rejoice', 'Yes, Thanks!' and 'An Invaded Life'.

The 27 poems begin with a series of 'Reflections On The Word Of God', taking a sideways look at familiar passages of Scripture, followed by a sequence of 'Pandemic Poems' drawing on the experience of living with Covid-19 over the last two years. Then a few poems on 'Life In The Spirit' reflect on aspects of Christian experience, before a selection entitled 'Alternative Endings', looks at leave-taking, mortality and the untidy edges of life and death. The final poem, 'Breakfast In The Safety Of A War-Zone', addresses the Ukraine conflict directly.

Rob Esdaile has been parish priest of Our Lady of Lourdes, Thames Ditton, Surrey since 2006 but is leaving the parish at the end of a May for a three-month sabbatical ahead of a new appointment in September elsewhere in the diocese of Arundel & Brighton.

Canon Rob comments: "In the face of so much suffering caused by the war in the Ukraine over the last month, this is my little contribution to our local fundraising efforts. Of course, I hope that the poems will prove thought-provoking to those readers who come across them. And, ahead of my departure for pastures new at the end of May, they are also offered as an expression of gratitude to the lovely parishioners I have served in Thames Ditton over the last 16 years."

Copies of 'A Word In Edgeways' are available for £7 inc. p&p (or £10 together with the previous volume, 'An Invaded Life') from Our Lady of Lourdes parish office. e: office@olchurch.org.uk; t: 020 8398 2191


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