Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Bathroom of the Vanities

Warmth bought me Christopher Reid's A Scattering for my birthday, it's a collection of poems he wrote after his wife died. Here's part of my favourite one, which seems appropriate as we pack up our flat. Thankfully we're packing up under very different circumstances to this poem.

Bathroom of the Vanities

The model mask, the mannequin moue,

the face I loved to catch her pulling

after sundry perfecting dabs

and micro-adjustments in front of the mirror

will never be seen, by me or the mirror, again.


Odd bottles in an orderly queue -

Issey Miyake, Parum, Tea Rose, the eternal billing

doves of L'Air du Temps - keep their caps

on, converse their last drops of essence and aura

and wait for no one.

Christopher Reid


How poignant thinking about all our lotions, potions, scents which we will leave behind.

The memories scents evoke...


  1. I love how the daily mundane task of making yourself acceptable becomes a thing of poignancy to him.
    Hope your move goes well!

  2. Hello, I hope packing is going okay, I don't enjoy it very much! You're very right I love that poem- and I think you can guess why!

  3. I saw Christopher Reid give a reading of The Scattering - to say there wasn't a dry eye in the house is an understatement! A truly lovely collection - and what a wonderful elegy for his wife.

  4. Bloomsbury Bell - how lucky you were wow!
    Rose - Glad you like the poem.
    Tonia - what true words...

  5. Scents are huge memory evokers for me! I've joked about making a perfume scrapbook for years (still trying to figure out how to do that...) From 9th grade Sun Riped Raspberry Bath & Body Works, to the scent I wore on our wedding day - one whiff can just take me back :) What a great tie in to your situation!

  6. I have kept a bottle of my mum's but still find it too sad to use it.

  7. This is such a nice poem. Quite thought-provoking. Almost sad...
    I hope you enjoy where you are moving to! Good luck with the move!

  8. Lovely poem! Hope your move goes well. It is always sad to leave a place even in good circumstances. But here's hoping that where you are going is bigger, better, and quickly filled with wonderful memories!


Ooh how lovely more stripes on the page...
Thank you for taking the time.