Very Rev Dr Norman Hamilton OBE

Bill McKnight has read / shown / discussed his poetry with me regularly over the last number of years. He has a very special gift of being able to express so much in so few words to people, who like me, have never experienced mental illness personally. And his words have changed both my understanding of and reactions to mental illness, for simply by reading them – slowly, of course – one gets profound insights without having to be either a health professional or service user.

His own journey from deep pain to real and ongoing healing is well expressed in two parallel poems in this book.

The first:

Friends

They don’t call me sad.
They don’t call me bad.
They don’t call me mad.
They don’t call me.

The second:

Friends

They don’t call me sad.
They don’t call me bad.
They don’t call me mad.
They don’t call me.
I know! I’ll be a friend.
I’ll call them!

The final two lines of this last poem exude the hope, healing and increasing confidence that has come to Bill in recent times. It is ironic that these are in ever shorter supply in our modern society afflicted as it is with so much fear, uncertainty and dysfunctionality. I am delighted to commend this short collection of powerful poetry to the widest range of readers, for there is wisdom and light in abundance between its covers.

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