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The Well in the Rain: New and Selected Poems

The Well in the Rain: New and Selected Poems

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When Sometimes all I can Imagine are Hands

There is a winter within me,
a place so cold, so covered in snow,
I rarely go there. But sometimes,
when all I can imagine are hands,
when trees in the forest
look like they’re made of wood,
then I know it’s time
to take my photograph of Akhmatova
and sling it in a bag with socks and scarves.
My neighbours must think it strange
to see me strapping on my snowshoes,
to hear me roar at the huskies
as I untangle the harness.
But when all you can imagine are hands
it’s best to give a little wave
and move out into the whiteness.

Bicycles, famines, ghosts, grannies, Tibetan Buddhists, Beckettian sighs and Lucian Freud’s nudes are all revealed with a rare and loving simplicity in this selection from Tony Curtis’s six published poetry collections, which concludes with a body of new work. Life-giving, life-affirming poetry, full of loss, love and longing.

“Underpinning the lyrical narrative is a writing style as graceful as the author’s thought.”
Poetry Ireland Review

Tony Curtis was born in Dublin in 1955. He is the author of six warmly received collections of poetry. His most recent, What Darkness Covers, was published by Arc in 2003. In that year also, he was the recipient of the Varuna House Exchange Fellowship in Australia. Curtis has been awarded the Irish National Poetry Prize and is a member of Aosdána, the Irish academy of the arts.