Grief needs a language and poet Christopher Reid has found one.

A Scattering, Reid’s memorial gift to his lost wife, actress Lucinda Gane, is a narrative poem of dazzling verbal felicity to uplift the spirit, inspire the living and recall the dead.

But just as language needs a speaker, poetry needs to be heard. Actor Robert Bathurst has adopted the prize- winning verses and hopes to tour with his pitch-perfect performance, augmented with heart -strung plangence for viola and cello composed by Tom Smail.

His recital at Wadhurst Park in aid of the Friends of Sussex Hospices with musicians Dorothea Vogel and Vanessa Lucas-Smith was a moving demonstration of how an actor’s gift can bring the poet’s skill to life - with a wonderfully appropriate story for a charity which supports the hospice movement.

Reid’s metaphors and mouth-watering words made mincemeat of cancer and occasionally even made us smile. We know women can do two things at once: can’t you be alive and dead, he asks?

How beautifully Robert Bathurst felt the lines he spoke: how poignant he painted the picture of love and loss.