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Hands

Moya Cannon

Hands by Moya Cannon
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Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 847771 42 1
Categories: 21st Century, Irish, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: November 2011
216 x 135 x 5 mm
64 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (EPUB), eBook (Kindle)
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  • Excerpt
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  • Reviews
  • A high corner of the apple tree shakes
    as a thrush pecks and pecks at one of the last apples.
    The sun slants onto the thrush and the apple
    which has a crater in it.

    This is what apples are for,
    to be turned into song.
    'Crater'




    In Moya Cannon's new collection, Hands, the commonplace is transfigured by an attentiveness that jolts us into wonder.

    The poems sing of deep connections: the impulse to ritual and pattern that, across centuries, defines us as human; a web of interdependences that sustain the 'gratuitous beauty' of the planet. Hands travels in time and space, mapping journeys we make as ageing, illness, and the deaths of parents shift our responses to our place in the fabric of the world, where we live in the grace of love and sunlight.
    Soundpost
    Reed-Making
    Driving back over the Blue Ridge,
    Openings
    Still Life
    All this green day
    Only the shadows
    October
    Val de Luz
    Farrera Light
    No Good Reason
    Hands
    Orchids
    Yesterday I was listening on the iPod
    Parisii
    Little Skellig
    Sea Urchins
    The Fertile Rock
    Lady Gregory at Cill Ghobnait
    Nausts
    Eliza Murphy
    Crater
    The Magician’s Tale
    In the Underground Car Park
    Brought to Book
    Loch
    ‘We Are What We Eat.’
    Alma,
    I thought
    Two Doors
    Green Cities
    Swans at Nimmo’s Pier
    The Washing
    The Train
    Halloween Windfalls
    Death,
    The Red Tree
    Hedgehog
    RNA
    Consider the Cocosphere
    Blue Saxophones
    The Important Dead
    In the Lava Pipe
    The white cyclamen
    Flowers at Loughcrew
    Apples and Fire
    Harmonic Vases
    He looks so carefully
    Midday at Stockholm Airport
    Night Road in the Mountains
    Moya Cannon has published five collections of poetry, her most recent being Keats Lives (2015) from Carcanet Press. Her poems reflect preoccupations with landscape and seascape, with archaeology, with music, with language itself and with our visceral attachment to the beauty of the earth. The work sings of deep connections – ... read more
    'In this new collection, Moya Cannon, through intent attention to light and sound and the natural materials that produce them, touches the very principle of life itself. Hands is a profoundly moving set of meditations on what it means to be alive, physically and emotionally.'
    Bernard O'Donoghue
    Praise for Moya Cannon 'These wonderful poems lay down not just a landscape and a history, but a music which is all their own, through which the reader can enter a unique dialogue between elegy and celebration.'
    Eavan Boland
    'In this new collection, Moya Cannon, through intent attention to light and sound and the natural materials that produce them, touches the very principle of life itself. Hands is a profoundly moving set of meditations on what it means to be alive, physically and emotionally.'
    Bernard O'Donoghue
    'Its sterling qualities are manifest and manifold: a deep interiority and soaring lyricism, and an ability to produce what Tim Robinson has termed 'geophany', a showing forth of the earth.'
    Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill
    'The intensely lyrical musings on life, landscape and love stir the heart, disturb the settled thought and, more in this collection than in the earlier, soothe the soul. Like her fellow northerner, Seamus Heaney, Cannon digs deep with the pen. And whilst the theme of sea voyaging and water inform the titles of both her books, that which the earth throws up is of equal fascination.'
    The Cork Examiner
    'Her newly published second collection, The Parchment Boat contains the subtly evoked passion and meditative restraint that was distinctive in Oar, her first collection.'
    The Irish Times
    'All the journeyings envisaged and chronicled by Moya Cannon are to be sought in a remarkable symbiosis of humanity and the 'natural world', a perceived and felt unity of creation which goes light years beyond any mere empathy of imagining. I should not be surprised if a few of Moya Cannon's phrases become, in time, part of our 'poetry-talking': 'the faulted hills', 'the room-sized fields', 'the clay part of the heart.'
    Poetry Ireland Review
    'Complicated things happen simply in these poems. The Burren's dove-saints hatch out under the eyes of raptors; old wooden sailboats of Connemara take root in salt water. Moya Cannon's style is as discreet as the advance of spring over her favoured landscapes. It is good to have a collection of her work to hand, for deep re-reading.'
    Tim Robinson
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