Clare Best

Each Other (2019)


Following a Seamus Heaney Award shortlisting in 2012 for Excisions, Clare Best’s second full collection, Each Other, looks into the many faces of love and relationship. In poems that follow a fictional duo through courtship, cohabitation, separations, reunions, and on towards the end of life, the title section of the book anatomizes the idiosyncrasies, fantasies and surprises of long-term coupledom. A second cycle of poems, Moon House, honours some of the loves central to Best’s own life – between wife and husband, daughter and mother, mother and son, son and father – relationships lived, and recollected in absentia.


ISBN: 978-1-906742-84-3 Category:

Praise and Poems

Each Other exemplifies how poetry can reach back through memory to bring our relationships alive and singing into the world. Best builds a musical hearth at the heart of life, creating a beautifully precise ‘house of song’ to remind us that in all of life’s growth and change, in all its loss and celebration, what survives of us is love. Inhabiting the domestic interiors of kitchen and shared table, as much as celebrating the garden and the natural world, these poems are intimate and sometimes sexy. Their elegiac and celebratory stanzas are ‘forever euphoric on chocolate and love’ and, like chocolate and love, they deeply satisfy but also leave us wanting more.                                                                                                                                                                                                           Andy Brown

Ferry, late afternoon

At last they are cast off
in the vast boat –
juddering past dredgers
signals, the long breakwater
out into the shipping lanes.

On the stern deck
couples lean on salted glass,
gulping sea air.
The harbour shrinks
to a gritty knot of dark.

She and her anchorman
are together
on the cold grey water
staring at steep churn swirling
in their corkscrew wake.

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