Hand of the Wind
Poetry by Geraldine Connolly
Hand of the Wind will delight readers of poetry with a winning combination: an unbroken contact with the natural world and a flair for metaphoric inventiveness.
Gerry Connolly’s poems inhabit landscapes that in turn inhabit her. The warmly knowing, often rapturous, always clear-eyed physical immediacy of her details can become portals of revelation. Here’s a poet with a genuine “appetite for apparitions,” a consciousness acutely in touch with its natural and human surroundings, who can move easily between hard home truths, weird Elvis impersonators, and a mystical address to a Mourning Cloak, the mourner arriving in a “mask/ with the face of a red-tailed hawk.” Hers is a world in which even “wolves whisper/ in lyric babble” and “All night long the scars sing their lonely songs.” Throughout Hand of the Wind we hear and see how “new thoughts came alive, lit like window panes./ I began to record, slowly, what I saw.” As she says at the close of one of my favorite lyrics, “Jonquils as Evangelists,” “Let me change/ as they change, into something better.” It’s the sort of spell the best of these poems can work on their readers: like her description of Robert Johnson’s blues, they capture “our yearning’s pure clear notes.”