Celebrating a marriage through poetry - Dannie Abse's extraordinary sequel to The Presence returns to his life before his bereavement
Dannie and Joan Abse had been married for more than fifty years when she was killed in a car crash in 2005. After her death he wrote his extraordinary memoir of loss, The Presence, which was the Wales Book of the Year in 2008.
In contrast, much of this new collection is a delightful celebration. In it Dannie Abse returns to their marriage through all its seasons, and celebrates love in verse which is funny, tender and playful as well as serious and passionate. Almost half the poems appear in this form for the first time.
'One for sorrow, two for joy' is the old country saw about the magpie. These poems reflect its truth, and in the process transfigure ordinary life and love into something rich and strange.
“I love their delicacy, their exquisite taste, and the sense of their sustained happiness together.”
Joan Bakewell, Observer