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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this.
I wholeheartedly recommend this collection of themed poems to everyone who has experienced the loss of a loved-one or who has yet to experience the trauma of such an event. Christopher Reid has shown that poetry doesn't have to be elitist or elusive in nature. Through an almost narrative style we share something of his sense of loss.

This is one of the most...
Published on 9 Mar. 2010 by Mark Treacher

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The poetry is beautiful. Pity it is mutilated Martin
The way the poems are printed out in the Kindle edition, compared to the printed book is confused and difficultvtonread. The poetry is beautiful. Pity it is mutilated
Martin Eastwood
Published 7 months ago by R Passmore


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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this., 9 Mar. 2010
By 
Mark Treacher (Stratford upon Avon, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Scattering (Paperback)
I wholeheartedly recommend this collection of themed poems to everyone who has experienced the loss of a loved-one or who has yet to experience the trauma of such an event. Christopher Reid has shown that poetry doesn't have to be elitist or elusive in nature. Through an almost narrative style we share something of his sense of loss.

This is one of the most poignant, sad, emotionally charged and yet somehow uplifting collections of poems I have read. It is a truly passionate requiem for a relationship.

This book deserves the Costa Book Award and more. I cannot praise it highly enough.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving, 7 Mar. 2010
This review is from: A Scattering (Paperback)
I read the reviews from the Costa book awards and thought that I had to read this book. Reid writes sensitively and movingly about loss but not in a maudlin sense. The poetry feels fresh and evocative and, for anyone who has experience of loss, dares to put in to words what many people feel. I would recommend this book to anyone who has lost a loved one but I would maybe wait a while to read it.
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tributes, 27 Jan. 2010
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This review is from: A Scattering (Paperback)
These poems are a tribute to art, love and loss.

Perhaps the strongest volume of poems since Douglas Dunn's ELEGIES

We are uplifted and redeemed by a terrible sadness. Highy recommended.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving, 27 Mar. 2010
This review is from: A Scattering (Paperback)
'A Scattering ' by Christopher Reid is tragic, but beautifully tragic. Coleridge said that poetry was the 'best words in the best order' and Reid does exactly this. There is nothign difficult about the poetry, but is is immensely moving in it's quiet, simple way. It is one of those works which makes you pause and appreciate all every person in your life. It makes you realise that life is hort and that we should appreicate every moment with those we know and love. It is a sad book, but one which should be read by everyone, regardless of whether they like poetry or not; it's tribute and message are simple, but they are thing which should be repreated again and again.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Widow 's Thoughts, 20 May 2013
This review is from: A Scattering (Kindle Edition)
By chance I heard of Christopher Reid on the radio today and searched for this book. I am stunned by his perception.
I have been a widow for 8 weeks and he describes exactly the emotions that fill every hour of my day. Nothinokg cain ever prepare you for this time. No amount of sympathy or attempt at stiff upper lip can ever reach this grief.
I will hold these words so close as I travel on my journey.
No pious prayers or religious waffling could ever come close as far as I am concerned
Thank you
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars thought-provoking and moving, 11 Jan. 2011
By 
E. Seal - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Scattering (Paperback)
I knew that the subject matter of this book was surrounding the death of Christopher Reid's wife, but I didn't anticipate how uplifting and beautiful the poems would be. It was a thought- provoking and moving experience to journey with him through his bereavement and I came through it with a tremendous sense of hope. I would recommend this set of poems to anyone, the poetry has value in its own right, but especially for anyone who is able to contemplate the loss of a loved one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading, 3 Aug. 2012
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This review is from: A Scattering (Paperback)
When someone we love dies we experience grief in four distinct stages. So it's probably no coincidence that Reid's poetry collection A Scattering, inspired by his wife's illness and death, is in four parts.

The first part, The Flowers of Crete, is concerned with a holiday during her final illness. However it is his wife's essential energy and vitality that Reid portrays. She is `sublime', `willing to climb/ the rockiest, thorniest slope,' `intrepid.' He is in denial, not fully able to believe that, unlike the Cretan Minotaur, her `skulking sarcoma' cannot be killed.

The second part, The Unfinished, begins with his wife's death: `Sparse breaths, then none - /and it was done.' The rest of this sequence covers `Those last few days/ of drug-dowse, coma-comfort,' and Reid doesn't shrink from sharing the effects of his wife's `malignant but not malign' brain tumour: paralysis, fits, drugs, memory loss, hair loss.

The third part, A Widows Dozen, is a sequence of thirteen poems, including the title poem of the collection. A Scattering recalls how elephants scatter the bones of their dead and Reid invokes them as his muse `may their spirit guide me as I place/ my own sad thoughts in new, hopeful arrangements.' Elephants (so the saying goes) never forget and the sequence takes us through a range of emotions - sadness, anxiety, guilt, anger - at times expressed with devastating simplicity. `Please explain tears,' Reid demands in A Reasonable Thing to Ask. In Turns, imagining he hears his wife's voice, Reid states flatly `I know she's dead and I don't believe in ghosts.' The final poem in this sequence, Afterlife, sees Reid outside the hospital where his wife's body had been donated to medical science. `But it's not a graveyard, to dawdle and remember and mope in,/ and I had work to do, too, in a different part of town.' His physical movement suggests his emotional state; a `moving on' that is metaphorical as well as literal. Reid is gradually coming to terms with his loss.

The final part, Lucinda's Way is a `necessary footnote'. Reid's sense of loss is still evident (`I live in a memory/ the size and shape of a house') but unlike in A Widower's Dozen where he perceives the flowers to be `missing the welcome and blessing/ of the one who had planted them there,' in this section he says of the garden `you're still to be found there/ if I look carefully.' Here is acceptance; recovery. Reid is no longer `inhabitant/ of an empty house,' but of a home where `the innumerable air kisses/ we exchanged in passing/ remain suspended to this day, /each one an efficacious blessing.' It is fitting that the collection ends with this benediction.

A Scattering is a brave and intensely personal collection: an extended love poem, a cathartic outpouring, an arc of grief. But there are moments when it becomes too glib for its own good. Turns ends with the line `A variety turn - that never fails to give me a turn'; Exasperated Piety transmutes Henry James' `a terrible place to die in' to `a terrible place to cry in.' The punning jars with the overall sentiment. But the collection won the overall Costa Book Award in 2009 for all that.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Scattering, 26 Jun. 2010
By 
S. Harris (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Scattering (Paperback)
A beautiful, scattered (yet perfectly cohesive) collection of thoughts, memories and beautiful images of the poet's late wife. Recapturing the last of her life, and the beginnings of his new one, and never at any point letting the vast cavernous depth of his grief taint the times he recounts. Stronly recommended - particularly for someone like myself, who didn't even consider herself a fan of poetry in the first place.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving poetry, 4 May 2010
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This review is from: A Scattering (Paperback)
A most moving collection by Christopher Reid, paricularly about the unexpected, catching times and places of bereavement. No self-pity - instead a celebration of Lucinda and the intimacy of their lives.
Anna Day-Lewis
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blithe Spirit, 12 Oct. 2013
By 
Mr. D. James "nonsuch" (london, uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Scattering (Paperback)
Christopher Reid, A Scattering

Christopher Reid's poetic tribute to the memory of his wife Lucinda Gane has many fine lyrical and narrative qualities. In snatches Reid moves from Crete to London to an Italian market, bringing to life the past that is always present in his mind. He speaks to the departed Lucinda, reminiscing with her, interrogating her, at the same time reflecting on the brain tumour that finally triumphed over her spirit in a North London hospice. The tone throughout is calm and questioning, free alike from Dylan Thomas raging or Tennysonian melancholia. This slim volume that won the Costa Book of the Year Award in 2009 is a moving portrait of a brave and spirited woman.

The title alone indicates the fragmentary nature of Reid's memories, the ordinariness of the tokens left behind. In a section named `The Bathroom of the Vanities' he glances at Lucinda's leftover perfume and make-up bottles. ' The bathroom scales, too, /stand abandoned. No one now will be consulting/ the age-fogged dial for its little fibs and trembles of error/ with precisely that peering downward frown.'

Reid never shrinks from the less seductive aspects of living with a woman suffering from cancer. He touches on her baldness (which he comes to love) and the onset of her dementia, accepting that 'no imp or devil/but a mere tumour squatted on her brain/ Without personality/ or ill humour.'

The book is an amalgam of compressed biography, novel and memoir. The portrait that emerges is of a woman of wit and intelligence being recalled from the shades to console a widower seeking, as in the Italian market thronging with bargain-hunting women,' the strong, health-giving, world-immersed/ feminine element his life has lacked for too long.'
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A Scattering
A Scattering by Christopher Reid (Paperback - 17 Jan. 2009)
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