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The Crack Magazine


Grief Road

Vanessa Furse Jackson, IRON press

Grief is something that we all suffer from and, unsurprisingly, an emotion that has proved a fertile ground for poets and one of solace for readers. (Witness the enduring popularity of Thomas Hardy’s 1912-13 poems written in response to the death of his wife.) Vanessa Furse Jackson’s new volume for IRON Press traces the moving journey of grief she undertook after she lost her husband, Robb. She is from Devonshire but they met at university in the US in 1984. Six weeks after that initial meeting they were living together, and they married two years later. Robb died in 2013 aged sixty. She gives us little snapshots of their time together, which are beautifully observed and as intimate as an embrace. She also teases out all of the emotions that make up loss concluding that grief: “lodges as a seed in the body – / the heart – to be nurtured there / through numbness into light, / essential for the journey forward, / vital as the love that gave it life.” Moving and life-affirming.