Norwich writer Rachel's messages of hope
By Mike Wiltshire
2009: As a Norwich-based writer, oil painter, speaker and poet, Rachel Snell is a gifted communicator who has found a novel way to distribute her poems.
Although Rachel’s articles appear in the Christian press, it is very difficult today to find a publisher for her poetry. This frustration posed a challenge for Rachel whose heartfelt poems carry a message of hope for people facing great pressures or depression.
So, reluctant to go down to the self-publishing route, Rachel has found a way to distribute her poems by turning them into attractive bookmarks which she gives to friends, neighbours and even complete strangers.
Her inspirational poems carry a message of hope for people going through depression and associated pressures – a condition that Rachel herself faced over many years following a troubled childhood in the West Country.
However, her personal faith in Christ has carried her through. She is now writing a book to encourage people who struggle with illnesses such depression.
“I believe that God has allowed such problems in my own life. I see it all quite differently now, so I feel equipped to understand and help the needs of others,” she says. “God has given me so much, I feel I must share the blessing.”
Today, Rachel is a cheerful, outgoing person, active in the community through her local church, Earlham Christian Centre, and through her work with two local parent and toddler groups. People who receive her poem bookmarks will often say “that was just what I needed to read,” or similar encouraging comments.
Rachel has also given poetry readings with a writer friend in presentations called ‘A duo of lyrical treats’ – “I love giving a Christian message to groups through poems,” she says. “People tell me I have a good radio voice, so that’s encouraging, too!”
As well as being a member of the Association of Christian Writers, Rachel has travelled widely in India, Egypt, Australia and Bolivia. She comes from a literary family: two of her brothers write poems and her dad was a librarian who loved poetry. Rachel and her husband, Greg, have two sons and four grandchildren.
Here is an example of Rachel’s poetry written in ‘free verse’ style which may not have a set pattern of rhyme or rhythm, and is sometimes described as ’spoken music.’ Such verses tell a story, describe a person or a feeling. Here is a free verse poem called ‘A bag of tools’:
Just when I think I can't go on,
It’s all too much,
I'll jack it in,
the pain’s too great,
I've tried, I surely have
and its not worth it any more,
I've had enough;
there You are,
rushing down the road, arms outstretched,
'No', You say, 'you're doing fine.
Don't, please, don't give up, please.'
And You smile and hug
and plead, 'I love you.
Please hear, I love you.
Just carry on.'
And You give me a bag,
a bag of tools
for the next bit of my journey.
I shed, my tears, pain, relief.
I get up, give You a hesitant smile,
I can go again.
I know You are my Father,
my Big Daddy God.
Pictured above is Rachel Snell, who can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org (Photo by Jonathan Faint Photography)