Book review: I Wish I’d Said … Vol. 5

Unless we are suffering through a natural disaster, war, famine or pandemic, grief in the everyday is usually deeply personal. In the last three years, however, the world has been in the throes of grief on a global scale. COVID-19 and the resulting worldwide lockdowns initiated a process of communal mourning that is long from over. Many of us have turned to art for understanding and solace during this time. Art can provide both, on its creative and receiving ends. And perhaps no other art form can capture this wonder as succinctly as poetry.

The AVBOB Poetry Project began in 2017, and since then, in the words of AVBOB’s CEO, Carl van der Riet, “has expanded its reach as an essential archive representing our shared experience”. Many thousands of poems have been received since the inception. A significant number of these have found their way into the AVBOB Poetry Library, which is available online, and into the five volumes of poetry – I wish I’d said … – published as part of the endeavour. The first time I read one of these anthologies, I was surprised how much it meant to me. And now, engaging with the latest, the fifth volume in the series, gave me the renewed feeling of belonging that I’d sensed with the previous reading …

Continue reading: LitNet

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