Image taken from the poem section of the website A Love in Verse
They say if you’re ever loved by a writer you’ll never die. That was certainly true for Peter Gordon’s wife, Alison, when Peter decided to write his wife a poem every day for 25 years. It had started as a joke 30 years ago when Peter wrote a poem and hid it under Alison’s pillow where she found the poem and liked it. Every day since he has written her a poem, even after her death four years ago.
“She was quite amused by it,” Peter told The Guardian, “both charmed and flattered, as I had hoped, and I went on from there to turning it into little rhymes and then the rhymes got bigger and bigger and I started doing it every day. So it became a custom.”
The couple had met when they were in a play together, casted in 1973 and then married a year later. In the 80’s Peter had practiced writing poetry, but nothing serious until the 90’s when he started documenting his feelings while being on the road as a touring actor. In the meantime, Alison stayed behind, beginning her career directing and teaching acting at drama schools where she built up her own name.
In 2014, Alison was tragically diagnosed with lung cancer and passed away the next year on May 12th. Even with Alison going through chemotherapy, Peter remembers his wife’s spirit never wavering. Despite being diagnosed with lung cancer, Peter remarks, “her overwhelming spirit and tenacity allowed her to live a full life with the disease for a year and a half. Alison was in constant contact with all of her children which brought her great comfort.” She even went on to perform the play Love Letters, directed by their daughter Anna, with him.
After her death, their daughter’s had compiled the poems, around 300 of them, and put them online under the website of A Love in Verse.
“I realized that I had thousands of these pages knocking about in a big wooden box in a shed at the bottom of the garden, and I ought to sort them out, see if they were any good.” And out came the website, a collection of the good bits of Peter Gordon’s poetry.
The original article appears here: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/may/21/a-love-in-verse-peter-gordon-alison-king-poetry?utm_term=RWRpdG9yaWFsX0Jvb2ttYXJrcy0yMDA1MjQ=&utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&CMP=bookmarks_email&utm_campaign=Bookmarks