Published by Smokestack Books
Malcolm Povey began writing these poems when Jackie, his wife of forty years, a teacher, painter and print-maker, was diagnosed with cancer. After her death in 2008 he found himself stranded on ‘grief’s glacier’, adrift ‘on loss and loneliness’ and talking to his dead wife. Missing is part of that continuing conversation. Refusing the consolations of religion, or comforting ideas about an afterlife or an immortal soul, he forces himself to contemplate the unbearable facts of death. Learning to live with the ‘ever-present absence’ of his wife, Malcolm Povey insists that people are worth loving, that love does not die with the flesh, that poetry can sometimes help us cut through the well-meaning drivel the bereaved must often suffer, and that we survive in the memories and practices of those left behind.
‘The spectrum of feelings – sentiment, strong emotion, passion – is brought unflinchingly to bear upon the subject of loss. Malcolm Povey chronicles and anatomises mourning with wit, intelligence and unabashed integrity. You will be moved in ways you could hardly expect.’ Paul Hyland