A DURSLEY resident has turned to poetry to help her explore some of the big issues in life.

Until her 50s, Elizabeth Oakley says she mainly focussed her attention on earning a living.

But now she is embracing her creative side, and finds that writing is a ‘good antidote to modern life’.

“In my 20s, I graduated with a diploma in international business, and went down the business route, putting my creativity put to one side,” she said.

“But as you get older, and the generations die around you, you have to deal with change and loss. And that’s life changing.”

“There’s a sense of stillness and stoppage when I write,” she said.

“My brain slows right down when I’m totally concentrating on piece of writing.

“And I think that’s a very good antidote to the pressures of modern life.”

Elizabeth says she taught herself to write by reading the works of contemporary poets Alice Oswald, Rachel Bore and John Burnside.

She is also influenced by TS Eliot, Sylvia Plath and Elizabeth Jennings.

“I like work that is very spare and has a real depth of thought,” she said.

Recurring themes in Elizabeth’s work include spirituality and the idea of eternity.

“I do like these really difficult subjects,” she said.

“But I alternate between humour and the highly serious.”

Elizabeth has had poems published in the press, both locally - including in the Gazette - and in Suffolk.

She also had a small collection published six years ago and is now on the look out for a publisher for her more recent works.