The Zebra Stood in the Night
Published by Bloodaxe Books
Human life and the passage and rhythms of time and the seasons come together in The Zebra Stood in the Night, the seventh collection by one of Ireland's leading poets. Grounded in the natural world, this is a book about about landscape, loss, belonging and transformation. As everything in nature grows and decays, so 'everyone is always inside the act of dying at the same time as being inside the act of living', Hardie writes in her essay 'Aftermath', a meditation on grief which precedes a sequence of poems on the death of her brother in India.
This is Kerry Hardie's second collection since her Selected Poems (2011), following The Ash and the Oak and the Wild Cherry Tree (2012), and continues the arc of the latter, 'a dark and gorgeous hymn to human mortality' (Claire Askew), questioning, celebrating and challenging all aspects of human experience. A number of her poems are narratives or parables in which experience yields a spiritual lesson and consolation; others chart a coming to terms with death or illness and an acceptance of inevitability or flux. Human life quivers in consort with other lives in these seasons of the heart.