A Scattering by Christopher ReidHauntingly beautiful... It took me a few days to be able to get through this poetry collection because of how real the feelings Reid poured into each of his poems are. The book itself is divided into four sequences, all equally poignant and moving that I had to read each sequence at least a couple of times in order to fully absorb everything in. At times, I found myself having to put the book down as I couldnt stomach the visceral feelings of pain and loss that some of its pieces evoked in me. Even now after Ive finished it, its words are still echoing in my mind, refusing to leave... Without a doubt, this is definitely a book that Ill keep returning to in the future.
Jump to navigation. In every poetic generation that are not more than one or two like that. But over the course of 30 years, his flair for novel conceits and witty observations has been complemented by a deepening, at times meditative seriousness, and an unrivalled emotional range. Reid was born in in Hong Kong. After education at boarding schools in the Home Counties and at Oxford, he moved to London, where he still lives. He has worked variously as a university lecturer, freelancer, and most notably as poetry editor at publishing house Faber and Faber, where he helped rejuvenate a flagging list in the s with new talents such as Simon Armitage, Lavinia Greenlaw and Don Paterson. From there, Reid has published numerous volumes.
Readers familiar with the work of Christopher Reid, a witty, dextrous poet drawn to "any whimsical, jejune, inchoate or passing thought", might have assumed that the death of his wife in would defeat his light touch. They need not have feared. A moving, unsentimental record of loss, A Scattering is as deft as anything Reid has written. Its playfulness, which includes finding rhymes for "sarcoma" and "tumour", does not obviate tenderness but complements it. Where others ratchet up their writing, Reid prefers a quiet approach.
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'Insofar' by Christopher Reid
Even the master of the bleakly consoling payoff could find nothing to warm him in a poem of personal grief. But then a true poetry of despair is an impossible thing, because real despair effaces language: it is, literally, blank. There's certainly no shrieking reproach in A Scattering, Christopher Reid's latest collection, dedicated to the memory of his wife, the actor Lucinda Gane whom readers of the right age will remember as the science teacher Miss Mooney in Grange Hill. But neither has he been rendered wordlessly impotent. Rather, he gives us a lucid, cogent panorama of grief and loss, from the first diagnosis of illness to a provisional - it never could be final - acceptance of his enforced membership of "the club of the left-over living".