The bestselling poet Malcolm Guite chooses forty poems from across the centuries that express the universal experience of loss and reflects on them in order to draw out the comfort, understanding and hope they offer.
Some of the poems will be familiar, many will be new, but together they provide a sure companion for the journey across difficult terrain. Some of Malcolm's own poetry is included, written out of his work as a priest with the dying and the bereaved and giving to the volume a powerful authenticity.
The choice of forty poems is significant and reflects an ancient practice still observed in some European and Middle Eastern societies of taking extra-special care of a bereaved person in the forty days following a death - our word quarantine come from this. They explore the nature and the risk of love, the pain of letting go and look toward glimpses of resurrection.