By Megan Young and Merrilyn Thomas
Publisher: Medlar Tree Publishing
First published 2013
Second edition 2014
Wordsmith: The Gift of a Soul is a collection of poetry and prose written by Megan Young, an equine veterinary surgeon who died of cancer aged 32. The book has been assembled by her mother Merrilyn Thomas. Megan’s poetry is powerful and profound. It speaks of those things that are common to us all – life and death, joy and pain, eternity and the soul. Her talent is to express these deep and complex thoughts in a language that is both beautiful and simple. The book is also a moving account of a mother’s relationship with her daughter. Merrilyn has woven the story of her daughter’s life around her poetry. In compiling the book, Merrilyn came to know Megan in a way that the hectic pace of life can obscure. Who is this person who has such understanding of the mystery of life, she asks.
Megan’s writing is suffused with an awareness of the spirit yet it is grounded in the reality of her life as a scientist and equine vet. A vet saves lives but also ends them. In one poem which speaks of the toll this can take on a vet, Megan wrote: ‘… I wonder what made me such a one/Who would lead so many to that dark place/With whose heart those final beats would resonate/By whose hand so many last breaths would drift away/And if I could somehow hold that air in the room/Would the life remain there too.’
by Megan Young
Optimism, hope, I made plans for our future.
I could still see the sun through the dark clouds above.
And even when the rain came down and soaked me
I thought of the rainbow that would never come.
The pink glow in the sky that I saw as beautiful
Was reflected only in the storm clouds that blacked out the sun.
And when the new moon rose, I saw hope in its gleam
When really it was just someone’s cynical joke.
Shepherds’ warning should have been my warning too.
I made promises that weren’t up to me to keep.
And now I am sorry for getting your hopes up.
The rains that fall are my tears from heaven.
My perpetual morning is of the other kind
Where the truth is worse than the nightmare.
The kind of grieving for what I haven’t lost.
Please. Let there be light.
(Melanie Reid, The Times)
Wordsmith is Merrilyn Thomas’s lovingly collated collection of her daugh¬ter’s lyrical and spiritually uplifting poetry and prose which speaks so movingly of the mystery, beauty and joy of the world, and of the pain and grief that it brings.
(Pam Norfolk, Lancashire Evening Post)
This is more than a book of exceptional poems, it’s inspirational, a mother and daughter so closely involved in producing this Gift of a Soul.
(Anne Hailes, Irish News)
This short book gets under your skin (well, it did mine). It should resonate deeply with anyone facing death or bereavement, especially at an early age, with horse-lovers and lovers of nature, and with those seeking glimpses of an underlying meaning to life. A little gem!
(Jan Arriens, Amazon)
Inspirational poetry … Wonderful wonderful book … Beautifully poems, a worthwhile read.