‘I need the trees to tell that other story,
the one that’s murmurous with wind and leaves.’
‘Our trust reposes in such clear, open writing. Her late poems are barer, more strongly narrative, and sometimes read like parables and portraits at once.’ So wrote John McAuliffe in his Irish Times review of Selected Poems (2011), while in The North Hubert Moore enthused: ‘Read this beautiful new book and you will find yourself led along ‘Paths and smalls roads and their next bend’.
In The Ash and the Oak and the Wild Cherry Tree, Kerry Hardie’s sixth collection, she matches the call to elegy with characteristic celebratory notes. In a ‘marriage house’ she watches signs of ageing and she searches for, and finds, ‘comfort in the deepest places’, between ‘the first frost of Autumn’ and ‘summer’s sumptuous body’. In these questioning, rough-edged, sometimes provocative and ecstatic responses to the life she lives she offers a world ‘At once so particular / and so enormous’.