Instead of Goodbye – John Powell Ward
An extended eulogy that is as spare as it is beautiful, Instead of Goodbye sees established poet, John Powell Ward, exploring a new voice at the height of his writing powers. The material is elegant, poised, and utterly heart-breaking, yet never sentimental. After a lifetime with his wife, Sarah, the sense of loss is visceral, yet the control of the material never wavers resulting in an exquisitely poised lyricism cannot fail to move.
Or was it night? I’ve still forgotten,
Absence so total we hang till
Bemused in such pain, enigma
With fragments enough
To vend more griefs, like this.
Selector and presenter of the BBC Radio 3 programme Poetry Now from 1977 to 1984, and editor of Poetry Wales between 1975 and 1980, John Powell Ward is not only widely published, with major festival appearances and critical acclaim, but continues to write with a mixture of authenticity and elegance that is as unassuming as it is pitch-perfect. The word, language itself, is critical in Ward’s writing and never more so than in this finely tuned, reflective and considered collection. John’s most recent collection with Cinnamon Press is Religious Poems, maybe