Troubador The Colour of Hope

Released: 28/01/2021

ISBN: 9781800461864

Format: Paperback

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The Colour of Hope

Poems of Happiness in Uncertain Times

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The Colour Of Hope is a poetry collection with happiness at its heart. The 45 poems inside were created during lockdown, at a time when finding beauty and comfort in the everyday seemed at once fraught with difficulty and vitally important. Each was written for a specific recipient, based on three things they guaranteed would make them feel happy. I received a wonderful range of briefs. From the beautifully universal – a longing for nature and freedom, time spent with family, summers spent in other lands – to the gloriously specific – snaffling a Toffee Crisp from the fridge late at night, Fleetwood Mac songs, making the perfect scrambled eggs, and Ceilidh dancing. The result is a collection of poems that serves both as a record of this intense and intensely strange year, and as an uplifting reading experience that will connect and resonate with a much wider audience than the individuals they were initially written for. 2020 will be one for the history books, a year that has created emergencies on many fronts, not least the emotional. 60% of adults, and 68% of young people in the UK reported a decline in their mental health during lockdown. Mental health charities are working harder than ever to provide support to the vulnerable and in need, and every little helps. As such, 20% from the sale of this book will be donated to Mind, to help provide a bit of light in these uncertain times. Hope comes in many shapes and colours, and it’s my hope that you’ll find some of your own pieces of happiness, comfort and, yes, hope within these pages.

“the world will feel too tight – the skin of a peach
about to burst.” [For Louise]

These lines from Feroze’s poem,‘For Louise’, from her debut collection The Colour of Hope beautifully and evocatively summarise the collective experience of people across the globe, this year. ‘For Louise’ spoke of a universal hope which the Foreword of this collection also captured - the hope to rekindle hope itself. And so, from the opening pages Feroze’s kind and compassionate desire to uplift her readers and revitalise our senses, our hunger for the simple, the wonderful and the endlessly hopeful, is established.

‘For Jennifer’ and ‘For Catherine’ immerse you at once in Feroze’s hallmark charm and style. Her work is flawlessly evocative as she masters colour, light and the five senses, to weave together poems which are deeply personal yet universal too. In the opening of The Colour of Hope, Feroze reframes the moments we all saw as global lockdowns began; she unveils the beauty of home, of being in love, and finds the simple everyday and recolours it in splendid multicolour. At times, the tone is even defiant in the face of what for many was a time of heartache and loss, striking a chord of survival as well as hope.

“With every step homeward,
I feel a slow, steadfast blossoming.” [For Donna]

As the collection progressed, I found myself quite literally finding myself in Feroze’s work. With each piece being dedicated to someone and inspired by three objects/moments/people who bring them joy, readers cannot help but recognise their own faces in those of strangers. This is what makes Feroze’s work so refreshing; even as she played with the sea, the sun, the sky, the sights and sounds common to us all, each piece felt new and individual. Still, in each piece Feroze strips back our love for these things (whether it be the palpable power of nature or the smell of freshly baked bread) to its very essence, her words made hope - an intangible creature - tangible. ‘For Charlene’ and ‘For Emma’ were particular favourites of mine as they transported me to places of calm and allowed me to locate and experience serenity amidst the chaos of a life lived.

“Here
I learned to wear stillness like a blanket.
Here my voice rose to meet the fledglings,
testing melody like new wings.” [For Emma]

Although I could attempt to compare Jen Feroze to poets we all know and love, I think Feroze stands beautifully alone. The Colour of Hope was a project and so even though it is a joy to read Feroze’s words, this collections feels as if it was created for readers rather than the writer. Thus, at no point did I find myself placing Feroze in a poetic context. Instead, I enjoyed and savoured each and every word, and I enjoyed the freedom of this. This is not to say Feroze does not deserve being compared to the greats. ‘For Emily’ is vivid and phenomenal, ‘For Becky’ has the gorgeously sublime line, “Make this garden a summer snowglobe” and ‘For Jo’ is an honest reframing of hope from Dickinson’s ‘thing with feathers’ to a greyhound and a sunset.

The Colour of Hope is a gift. It is a collection imbued and bursting with love and kindness. It is hope reincarnated in forty-five different ways. And despite the year which inspired it, it will stand the test of time as a treat for the sensorium and every heart wishing to feel at home again.

by Kristiana Reed


Jen Feroze

Jen has been in love with language for as long as she can remember. A former Foyle Young Poet of the Year, her poetry has appeared in regional and national journals and anthologies. This is her debut collection. Jen is a bookworm with a love of baking, conversation that makes your brain fizz with ideas, and really good cheese. She lives by the sea in Essex with her husband and two young children


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