Helped by voices from beyond the grave...

Petworth poet Andrew Cluer
Petworth poet Andrew Cluer

Petworth poet Andrew Cluer takes his readers on a literary journey through bereavement in his new collection of poems, Adieu: Farewell Poems – A Diary of Consolation.

Self-published, it is available directly from Andrew at 48 Orchard Close, Petworth; from the Petworth Bookshop and from the SPCK bookshop in Chichester at £10.

His late wives, Grace who died in 2000 and Ann who died in 2013, were key in the composition of the pieces which come together in a form which Andrew believes ground-breaking: “Thomas Hardy wrote poems after his wife died, but never in a diary form.

“My diary is full of the sentiment that occurred to me at the time, but there is also a spiritualist nature. Grace was the person who promised to make me a poet. She said ‘After I die, I will make you a poet.’ And she did. And she did appear to me twice after her death. She was my inspiration, and I felt her inspiration. It was like being dictated to by her or by somebody to do with her.

“The book is all about the bereavement process. The diary is like biorhythms. Biorhythms are emotions that are recurring, and they recur through the bereavement process. The poems are full of places that I visited with my wives. Grace started the poetry flowing, and after Ann died, she started coming through in a different style. Hers was more tranquil. Grace was the sort of person that would walk into a room and it would light up. She would turn heads. Ann’s style is tranquil. Grace’s is more fiery. It is very interesting…

“I felt that by publishing Adieu, I must take the initiative and aim high as I feel that I have an important message to convey.”

He believes there is a musicality which was inspired by his Scottish piper ancestors, one of whom played his pipes every morning when the Queen Mother was in residence at Glamis Castle.

“The diary format, with the occasional author’s note, has enabled me to express those emotions felt at certain times and in certain familiar places which were well-known by Grace, Ann and myself formerly. It is not entirely surprising that the chosen themes are of a biorhythmic nature. My work should attract the attention of spiritualist groups who will readily identify with these journeys occasioned after loved-ones leave this earthly life. I am simply reporting some of these experiences.

“My close circle of staunch friends now earnestly believe that my nearer-to-nature environment reality is a place of comfort and understanding where other survivors of searing bereavement can perceive the shining proof of how endearment does indeed reach out, inspires to life anew and thereby so endures.”

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