Oxford

Book of poems written by ME poets

Poetry From the Bed
Image caption About 2,500 people have ME in Oxfordshire

A group of people with chronic fatigue syndrome, or ME, are releasing a book of poems to explain what living with the illness is like.

Poetry From the Bed came about following a poetry competition organised by the Oxfordshire ME Group for Action (Omega).

But the charity was so impressed with the results that it decided to publish a volume of the works.

Freya Morris, from Thame, said it was a great way to share experiences.

She added: "Retaining the capacity to read was an absolute lifesaver for me during the months I spent in bed with ME."

Another poet, Linda Angeletta from Bicester, said: "I struggle to do the housework and that gets me down. I struggle to cook meals for my family.

"Poetry helps me to explain my world of chronic fatigue, chronic pain and other health problems."

'Sheer bravery'

The book is being launched at the Old Fire Station in Oxford on Sunday.

One poet, aged seven, writes: "Bed, tired, asleep, wake up, tired again."

Novelist Clare Francis, president of Action for ME, who also has the illness, called the book "inspirational".

She said: "These poems movingly demonstrate the sheer bravery and resilience of the human spirit."

All the proceeds of the book will go to Omega, which was given a grant from the Co-op Membership Community Fund.

Omega estimates that 2,500 people have ME in Oxfordshire, and 250,000 in Great Britain.

It is characterised by prolonged fatigue associated with symptoms including muscle and multi-joint pain.

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