It had been on my mind to introduce Elaine Feinstein’s collection, Talking to the Dead, (Caracanet, 2007) and today feels like the appropriate day…

The poems are an elegiac homage of sorts to the memory of the poet’s husband, Arnold Feinstein, to love and to loss, and to the experience of being left behind, widowed and alone.

The few excerpts below, from the poet and the poetry, speak for themselves…


from Winter:

‘The clocks gone back…’

‘…My thoughts are bleak.

I drive imagining you at my side,

wanting to share the film I saw last night,

– of wartime separations, and the end

when an old married couple reunite – ’


from Unsent Email:

‘You were always home to me. I long for home.’


from Stuff:

‘Not to speak of the iMac, in which your spirit

still continues: nets of thought intensely lived.’


from Immortality:

[referring to Paradise]

‘It’s not that I hope to find you there

myself, more that I cannot bear

it should be true as once you said:

We think. And learn to understand a bit.

And then we’re dead…


from Another Anniversary:

[referring to her husband’s birthday]

‘The dead know nothing of what we say to them.

Still, in that silence let me write: dear friend.’


from: Widow’s Necklace:

‘Why should I recall a loving presence?

But so I do: my story as a wife

is threaded on the string of my own life’