Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Poetry Canadian

After That


by (author) Lorna Crozier

McClelland & Stewart
Initial publish date
Sep 2023
Canadian, Women Authors, Death
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2023
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


From Lorna Crozier, the poet that Ursula Le Guin called a “truth teller” and “visionary,” comes this new collection of soul-stirring poems that follow the death of a loved one.

After That is a book written from the dark hollow we fall into when we lose those we love. Lorna Crozier’s sure poetry finds the words to engage with the grief that comes from the death of her partner, the writer Patrick Lane, whom she’d lived with for forty years, many of them tumultuous. With grace and precision, she illuminates sorrow. The light the poems cast travels far enough to reach anyone who has experienced loss. These pages engage us with many familiar yet magical things—not only paper wasps, but their libraries; not only herons, but their role as aging monks. Crozier takes us through the domestic and natural worlds into the cagey and metaphysical place we call the beyond. Without offering false comfort, the poems turn over our own grief so that we can catch a glimpse of the new life inside us again.

About the author

Lorna Crozier, one of Canada's most celebrated poets, has read from her work on every continent. She has received numerous awards, including the Governor General's Award, for her fifteen books of poetry, which include The Blue Hour of the Day: Selected Poems; Whetstone; Apocrypha of Light; What the Living Won't Let Go; A Saving Grace; Everything Arrives at the Light; Inventing the Hawk; Angels of Flesh, Angels of Silence; and The Garden Going On Without Us. She has also edited several anthologies, among them Desire in Seven Voices and, with Patrick Lane, Addicted: Notes from the Belly of the Beast. She lives in Saanich, BC.

Lorna Crozier's profile page

Excerpt: After That: Poems (by (author) Lorna Crozier)


The dictionary word of the day is ultima Thule,
the land beyond the northernmost region on the maps.
Is that where you are now? Your poems loved winter.
Like the Mad Trapper are you walking backwards,
bone glasses over your eyes so you won’t go blind?
You were before you died, going blind I mean, the straight
lines on a grid wavering when you looked close.
Macular degeneration, the doctor said, for which there is no cure.
May I say, now that my words cannot disturb you (we were so careful
near the end), you were dying though I could not see it then.
In Saskatchewan
we drove through countless storms, your hands tight on the wheel,
snakes of snow slithering across the road, erasing the yellow line,
joining lane and ditch. That was the start perhaps,
your eyes blizzarded. In this north of north where I can’t go,
your breath’s come back and hangs in ice-flecked clouds
as you walk backwards into snow. Through narrow slits cut
into bone, bone is all you see.

Other titles by