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Categories: 21st Century, Irish, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (64 pages)
(Pub. Nov 2011)
eBook (EPUB) Needs ADE!
(Pub. Nov 2011)
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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.
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.
Driving back over the Blue Ridge,
All this green day
Only the shadows
Val de Luz
No Good Reason
Yesterday I was listening on the iPod
The Fertile Rock
Lady Gregory at Cill Ghobnait
The Magician’s Tale
In the Underground Car Park
Brought to Book
‘We Are What We Eat.’
Swans at Nimmo’s Pier
The Red Tree
Consider the Cocosphere
The Important Dead
In the Lava Pipe
The white cyclamen
Flowers at Loughcrew
Apples and Fire
He looks so carefully
Midday at Stockholm Airport
Night Road in the Mountains
Praise for Moya Cannon 'Three decades of poems from one of Ireland's finest contemporary writers. It is assured, consistent and has a quality both ancient and timeless.'
Seán Hewitt, Irish Times Best Books of the Year 2021
'From start to finish the freshness and vitality as well as the accomplished choice of image and expression reveal themselves...This is a super collection.'
Malcolm Carson, The High Window
'Across three decades of work, these poems demonstrate the marked consistency of a poet whose early collections are accomplished and assured, and who knows how to take her time, and how best to use it... This is an essential book for anyone interested in contemporary Irish poetry. If, for Emily Dickinson, a good poem should make one feel as though the top of one's head were taken off, Moya Cannon's have the effect of blowing an ember, of kindling a light, revealing the strange images passed down to us.'
Seán Hewitt, The Irish Times
'Reading these poems is often akin to travelling through time - or being made aware of layers of time before our own'
Robyn Bolam, The High Window
'The unshowiness of her work, the apparent careful weighing of words, is one of its appealing characteristics: for Cannon this seems not just a question of style but a necessary way in which to be true to her own sense of wonder in the world.'
Gerard Smyth, Dublin Review of Books
'Moya Cannon has a talent for the long shot; whole vistas open up in a handful of words... a master at evoking [time's] mysterious slippery quality... [her] unerring pared back poems express [a] deep knowledge and affection again and again.'
Martina Evans, The Irish Times
'A revelation in its range and depth. These poems are written out of Moya Cannon's enduring preoccupations: with history - especially the history of exile and displacement - with music, language, loss. True to the shifts of real experience, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes ironic, she deploys an understated technique, in a voice that is deliberate, exact and witty. Here are poems, landscapes alive with birds, people and stories, that show us our world, our past and culture through the gift of just, joyful words; they help us to reflect and to live.'
Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin '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.'
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