The funeral’s taking place today of the poet Mary Macrae. I was a classmate of hers at some of the Advanced Poetry Workshops taught by Mimi Khalvati for the Poetry School. I didn’t know her very well, but remember very strongly her kindness and intelligence. She had a way of wearing her intellect very lightly – gracefully – so that her fellow students never felt stupid or patronised. And her work was delicate, with a very finely-tuned attention to the line-break. It reminds me a little of the work of Mark Doty, not just because she too wrote about coastlines. Something about her committed attention to what the eye can bring in, too – and the (I’ve got to use those words again) lightness and gracefulness with which she wrote about the difficult-to-name. For example, at the end of her wonderful poem, ‘Flycatcher’, she names “tenderness; yes, / tender, as a bruise is.”
I am so very sorry for her loved ones.