In the poems of Beyond Sarah Wardle explores a world of hope beyond the despair she experienced because of mental ill health and its knock-on effects of lack of motivation, and of isolation and loneliness.
In the course of this book, we see her rebuild her life from an outlook of negativity and despair to a more included and inclusive view of the world. Beyond narrates her journey out of depression to a place where she finds renewed spirit and passion in relationships and the world. As in her previous collections, Fields Away, Score! and A Knowable World, the setting of many of these poems is London. The city becomes a symbol of the harsh realities of life and yet also the human love and compassion we can experience in everyday responses. Ultimately the poems of Beyond take the reader on a spiritual journey from a negative atheism to a positive humanism and the hope of connectedness even in a godless world. The natural world of the seasons and weather, set against urban grit and realism, of human solitude, interaction and love, helps her on her way as she charts a course out of the doldrums beyond passivity and self-pity to renewed effort, well-being and trust in the universe and life.
‘Wardle writes with a jauntiness and a grasp of the need to be clear; and courage, the sort that took on and put behind her the dark things and the different, writer’s courage, which dares to be understood and judged’ – Edward Pearce, Tribune.
‘She writes with admirable clarity and power of her experience of mental illness and some of her poems of childhood memories…are delightful. Her range is wide, encompassing travel, the urban and the pastoral as well as poignant poems of unfulfilled love’ – Vernon Scannell, Sunday Telegraph.