Dannie Abse

Two for Joy
  • Two for Joy

  • Dannie Abse

    Dannie and Joan Abse had been married for more than fifty years when she was killed in a car crash in 2005. After her death he wrote his extraordinary memoir of loss, The Presence, which was the Wales Book of the Year in 2008.

    In contrast, much of this new collection is a delightful celebration. In it Dannie Abse returns to their marriage through all its seasons, and celebrates love in verse which is funny, tender and playful as well as serious and passionate. Almost half the poems appear in this form for the first time.

    'One for sorrow, two for joy' is the old country saw about the magpie. These poems reflect its truth, and in the process transfigure ordinary life and love into something rich and strange.

Dannie Abse was for many years a chest specialist in a London teaching hospital. A poet, reviewer and playwright, he has written and edited more than fifteen books of poetry, as well as books about medicine and also fiction. He is the author of Ash on a Young Man's Sleeve and several autobiographical volumes, including Goodbye, Twentieth Century, which was published in 2001 to critical acclaim. He died, at the age of 91, in September 2014.