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By: John Angus Walker-Smith

Hope, Beauty and Friendship

Pages: 102 Ratings: 5.0
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This selection of poems by a new author was triggered by the tragic death of his 28-year-old daughter. So the collection begins with loss and the aftermath of loss: the hope of the author that his daughter and he may be reunited in the life to come. This hope underlies many of the poems. This is clearly articulated in ‘Osler and Son’, where a father grieves for loss of his son in World War I but in a stoical, unexpressed manner.The author records his childhood experience of emotions being held back in ‘Boys Don’t Cry John’. While some poems look back, most are contemporary, such as those inspired by the lockdown and the Ukraine War.The author advocates expression of feelings. This is powerfully expressed in relation to his experience of Friendship, both past and present. Transcendental beauty is a theme in the metaphysical poems ‘The Colour Blue’ and ‘Roman Glass’.However, each poem is unique. Many of them speak from the heart and have an emotional impact. The author hopes that these will resonate with readers.

John Walker-Smith is an Australian with dual British citizenship. He is a medical graduate of the University of Sydney and is now Emeritus Professor of Paediatric Gastroenterology University of London. He has lived in London since 1973.
His wife died from Alzheimer’s disease in 2019. He has two living children and eight grandchildren. His second daughter tragically died aged 29 years in 2004. This was followed by the death of his nephew aged 33 years. These events led him to write poetry for the first time.
He has an MA in Christianity and the Arts at King’s College London. He is a member of The King’s Chapel of the Savoy. He is Life President of the Crohn’s in Childhood Research Appeal and the Founder President of CAPGAN.

Customer Reviews
6 reviews
6 reviews
  • Malcolm

    With all the author has achieved (he is worth Googling) his multi-layered "The Wedding" sets the tone with a heart wrenched by the death of his daughter. The following poems are a journey through tragedy, mourning, loss, war and hope and are written in a way where the reader can quickly read the text, then take time to reflect on the meaning which has many levels. Poems you can read again and again to remind yourself of what you have in your life, who you have in your life, and the journey in front of you.

  • Christine

    Beautifully written poems than span a lifetime of personal experiences. The author uses emotive language to draw the reader in and takes them on a journey through family celebrations, relationships, tragedy and world issues. Through his poems, the author encourages the reader to reflect on their own thoughts and beliefs around the idea of hope, beauty and friendship.

  • Joe

    Wonderful emotive poetry. Received this book early this week. Really good read and quite emotional. Can fell the author's emotion through his words.

  • Fairbairn

    This is a very heartfelt collection of poems, written following the tragic death of the author's daughter. The poems range from the intensely personal to the political, underpinned by a deep Christian faith. The overall tone is of emotional honesty, and the author displays an uncynical loyalty to his adopted country and its monarchy. A very moving collection of poems written in an approachable and unshowy free verse style.

  • Claudia Syrad

    Hope, Beauty and Friendship is a poignant, tender, delicate and emotive book of poetry that takes the reader through a journey of emotions.
    Each poem tells an extraordinary story. It is hard to believe the author has been through so much yet finds the words to encapsulate the moment from his life so beautifully.
    The words about my best friend leaving this world will stay with me forever.
    A true poet and extraordinary writer. What an achievement to publish this selection of poems John Walker- Smith.

  • Dr Howard Peak, OAM

    This is a book of beautiful poems about thoughts and feelings in a variety of life events that have had a deeply emotional effect on the author. The poems are of varying lengths, and are divided into sections to act as a guide to what situations or subjects have affected his life, and which he expresses in a way and language which conveys the words of the title “Hope, Beauty and Friendship”.

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