‘Higher power’ leads to anthology for Luke

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Theresa O’Dea: “Writing poetry is a great source of mental healing.” Picture: Yanni

Theresa O’Dea: “Writing poetry is a great source of mental healing.” Picture: Yanni

MORNINGTON poet Theresa O’Dea’s book Someone’s Child is a poetry anthology on grief and loss.

It has been written to raise funds for the Luke Batty Foundation and the Forgetmenot Foundation.

It will be launched on Wednesday 18 March at the Mornington Library in Vancouver St, from 5-7pm, and sell for $50 each.

Ms O’Dea started Poet’s Corner in Mornington many years ago “when it was just a small township”.

“When Luke Batty was murdered in February last year, I was brought into a higher power by his spirit to compile a book of poetry from other poets,” Ms O’Dea said.

“I met Rosy Batty and told her how her son had come to me from the afterlife and asked me to read some of my poems to her at a fund raiser.”

As the expression goes: There are many a poets, and they don’t even know it, she said. “This statement is so true and, in times of need, we can resort to pen and paper to express something that has happened to us,” Ms O’Dea said.

“As a result of this tragic event – and for those who have touched our hearts – we become enlightened and inspired to reach out for serenity to heal the loss of the tragic event that has taken our loved one from us.

“Writing poetry is a great source of mental healing and the rejuvenation of the very reason why we are who we are.”

Ms O’Dea said that, as a poet, she was working with women who had lost a child or who were closely involved with someone who had lost a child or person they loved dearly, and who had been affected by grief and loss in their lives.

“I have had my share of losing someone that I loved dearly through unforeseen circumstances. This inspired me to think about compiling a poetry anthology for those affected by grief and loss.”

The work has taken about eight months to put together – without any government grants.

It has the backing of Janet Greening, whose mother was murdered by two teenagers at Kananook in 2000. She has been an active supporter of victims of crime and established the Forgetmenot Foundation.

Ms O’Dea started a women’s help group just over a year ago with the help of her teenage son, Ocean. Hopeishope11 aims to help prevent violence against women.

“The creation of Hope – not just for women but for their children and partners affected by family violence – inspired me as a poet to ask other poets to share their experiences, hope and humility by telling their stories in poetry form,” she said. “This, in return, would heal the poets through self-help, as well as help others.”

Ms O’Dea said the stories in the anthology had been told by the most courageous poets from all over the world.

“We are the writers in this anthology, not forgetting where we have been and how our loved ones have suffered. Here in these poems are people not left behind but reminded that we were once – and still are – in loving memory of these precious entireties (people).

“On behalf of the authors in this book, we invite you to read our poetry stories and hope that you are inspired as well.”

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