Grief Poem by Edwin Muir chosen by Andrew Marr for British Poetry Week

by Debora Harding in


For Ann Scott-Mancrieff

Heard this beautiful poem on BBC radio today for National Poetry Week - a Andrew Marr selection. He shares Edwin Muir's poem "To Ann Scott-Mancrieff". Muir was an Orcadian Scottish Poet who experienced a huge amount of grief in his life, losing a mother, father and two brothers at a young age. Ann Scott-Mancrieff was a friend of his, a writer, who died at the young age of 28.

Andrew Marr selected the poem with an introduction stating that it demonstrates "how we can care for people we never met."

Dear Ann

Where ever you are

since you lately learned to die

You are this unsetting star

that shines unchanged in my eye

So near, inaccessible

Absent and present so much

Since out of the world you fell

fell from hearing and touch

So near but your mortal tongue

used for immortal use

the grace of a woman young

the air of an early muse

the wealth of a chambered brow

and soaring flight of your eyes

these are no longer now

death has a princely price

you who are Anne

much more

than others are this or that*