Even in the darkest days of my life, I have found hope and inspiration in poetry. When I sought inspiration for Nicola’s eulogy and the inscription on her memorial stone, I read poetry; when I felt depressed and lonely and needed a reason or a rationale to cling to, I read poetry; and when I felt more optimistic and wanted to maintain my mood, I read poetry.
I have picked this moment because it is the third anniversary of my darling Nicola’s death this week. The feeling of loss is still keen—there is no measurement for it—and my sorrow that such a vibrant, generous and happy person should have been lost so young is still a powerful emotion.
This week’s poems continue the theme of love, starting with Christopher Marlowe’s pastoral plea of “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love”, continuing with Sir Walter Raleigh’s imagining of “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd” and concluding with Christina Rossetti’s celebratory “The Birthday”.