A Scattering and Anniversary: Poems

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Oct 10, 2017 - Poetry - 96 pages

An exploration of love and loss by the renowned Costa Award–winning poet

You lived at such speed that the ballpoint script
running aslant and fading
across the faded blue
can scarcely keep up. Many words are illegible. I miss
important steps. Your movements blur. I want to follow, but can’t.

A Scattering is a book of lamentation and remembrance, its subject being Christopher Reid’s wife, the actress Lucinda Gane, who died of cancer at the age of fifty-five. First published in the UK in 2009 to wide acclaim, winning the Costa Book of the Year, this moving and fiercely self-reflective collection is divided into four poetic sequences. The first was written during a holiday a few months before Gane’s death with the knowledge that the end was approaching; the second recalls her last courageous weeks, spent in a hospice in London; the third continues the exploration of bereavement from a variety of perspectives; and the fourth addresses her directly, celebrating her life, personality, and achievements.

Paired for the first time with Anniversary, which was written to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Gane’s death, A Scattering and Anniversary brings the poet into dialogue, again, with the wife he loved. A moving exploration of the stages of grief and how the “weighty emptinesses” that remain after bereavement change us, A Scattering and Anniversary shows us what it means to love, lose, and—forever changed—continue on.


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User Review  - AnneBrooke - LibraryThing

Dull and way too wordy, though there were one or two really good poems hidden in the mix - they should have been given a much better chance to breathe. Actually by the time I'd finished the collection ... Read full review

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Another brilliant collection by the author of the tragicomic Nonsense (Prufrock revisited) and Song of Lunch, both of which I've read countless times and keep returning to. There is so much to say about his poetry, and so much to see... depths and layers and laughs you don't expect... truly one of the best poets around.  



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About the author (2017)

Christopher Reid is the author of many books of poems, including A Scattering (winner of the Costa Book of the Year Award) and The Song of Lunch. From 1991 to 1999 he was the poetry editor at Faber and Faber, Ltd., where he worked with Ted Hughes on such books as Tales from Ovid and Birthday Letters, and later edited Letters of Ted Hughes (FSG, 2007). He is now a freelance writer and lives in London.

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