Hope in Dark Places: Poems about Depression and the Christian


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Book Details

Format: Paperback (50 pages)

Publisher: Sacristy Press

Date of Publication:

ISBN: 978-1-910519-67-7

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The deeper darkness,
that smear you only just see out of the corner of your mind’s eye as
you contemplate ending it all,
that not-so-much-no-go area
as a darkness-he’s-gone-further-into-than-anyone-else,

is where Christ is.

Hope in Dark Places explores the depths of depression through the poetry of David Grieve. You will be moved to tears and laugh unexpectedly. You will feel the raw reality of suffering and feel Christ’s presence in its midst.

In this collection David Grieve bravely offers fresh light on an age-old experience. These moving and perceptive poems will help those both inside and outside the darkness they so eloquently describe.
John Pritchard, former Bishop of Oxford

David expresses in these poems not only how the human mind can feel totally ravaged by depression, but also how such authentic creativity and spirituality can be born from the sufferer’s despair.  This poetry is brave and raw—it often makes for uncomfortable reading but is all the more important for this.
Jon Grogan, author of From Over the Edge

In these brave poems, David, deeply conscious that he is a loved child of God, never flinches from, nor spares us from, the reality of the Depression that he lives with and in so doing he leads us all into a deeper awareness both of the experience of Depression and how, for him, Christ is found as a companion within it. These are poems to be taken slowly and lived with. They will be a real gift to many of us.

Mark Bryant, Bishop of Jarrow

Careful reading (Philip Larkin, Exodus, the Psalms) and looking — a pietà in Durham Cathedral — inform Grieve’s work, alongside the domestic. Humour energises word-play, as when both he and the cat have ‘lost our marbles’ under the sofa, and he remembers ‘God is good at shifting furniture.’ Like the best hymn-writing, this is poetry that does not disown either the craft of its making or the faith that ultimately informs it, and keeps it buoyant. Martyn Halsall, The Church Times

About the Author

David Grieve is an Anglican priest, married with three grown-up children, who retired in 1989 at the age of 37 due to a breakdown. He writes poetry as both therapy and vocation.

From the Preface

These poems, which are not about curing Depression, but about the companionship of Christ within it, have been written over a thirty-year period, some during and some after illness or respite.

They are arranged in alphabetical title order and this seems to convey the changeability of my experience of Depression. I hope that they will be a resource that readers may dip in and out of whenever it is helpful.

I dedicate and offer them to all who like me are Depressives, whether or not they are currently ill, sometimes ill, or in remission.

Christ has blessed me in my many illnesses with his presence and the help of so many loved ones and health professionals, and I hope that this will be also the reader’s experience.

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