Shortlisted for the Irish Times–Poetry Now Award
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.
‘…this is powerful, typically clear-eyed and consoling work.’ – John McAuliffe, Irish Times
Kerry Hardie reads from her Selected Poems
Kerry Hardie reads nine poems from her Selected Poems: ‘Ship of Death’, ‘May’, ’After My Father Died’, ‘Avatars’, ‘Flesh’, ‘Samhain’, ‘Sheep Fair Day’, ’The Hunter Home from the Hill’ and ’After Rage’. Neil Astley filmed her reading a selection of her poems in April 2012 in a cottage on Achill Island in Co. Mayo, a favourite place of retreat. This film is from the DVD-anthology In Person: World Poets, filmed & edited by Pamela Robertson-Pearce & Neil Astley (Bloodaxe Books, 2017).