One Good Hand
Poetry by Dana Wildsmith
Praise for One Good Hand
Dana Wildsmith has one of the most authentic and memorable voices in contemporary poetry. She speaks in lines natural as this morning, yet exact in phrase and cadence, wise, without illusion, of the values we aspire to in love and work and the cycles of rural life. One Good Hand is a poet’s calendar, an almanac of seasons and growth, kinship and community. Wildsmith is at her best celebrating sweat, the affection of dogs, the risks of being silly in love. “Shaping the future that remembers the past,” she evokes a South where Hispanics and Asians, poets and farmers, struggle with new languages and translations. These poems summon up the pleasures in language and time and work, and honor the memory of the beloved poet Jim Wayne Miller. Each poem is an occasion of connection, recognition.
One Good Hand chronicles a year in the country with a wise and amiable poet as your spirit guide, on a ramble with stray dogs, deer, city folks, vecinos nuevos, and the wonders of the Georgia mountains. It is time well spent. I loved it!
If poetry is the ballet of the written word—as I believe it is—then Dana Wildsmith is one of its prima ballerinas. In One Good Hand, she brings us simplicity balanced with pageantry, passion edged in softness, humor touched with pathos. It is simply a magnificent dance of words, deserving a standing ovation.