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.
The Times Literary Supplement Books of the Year