Talking to the Dead
Published by Smokestack Books
For the past five years the poet Gordon Hodgeon has been confined to his bed. Following a series of unsuccessful operations on his spine, he is now unable to move his arms and legs, and cannot breathe without the help of a ventilator. In the last few months he has lost the power of speech. Today he can only communicate with the outside world by blinking at a Dynavox computer screen.
Although he is condemned to painful silence, Hodgeon has continued to write, recording the changing seasons of his disability and the changeless seasons outside his window. The result is this extraordinary series of poems from the furthest edge of human endurance. These are the words of a man who cannot speak, the poems of a writer who cannot pick up a pen. Talking to the Dead is a book about disability and mortality, a painful study in helpless silence. But it is also, movingly, the defiant song of a personality still open to the world and its endless futures.