The sense life made runs ahead of me —
a wild pony pulling its trap,
a startled child at the reins.
‘Picture the world without you in it’ — the opening line of Grace Wilentz’s engaging first collection illustrates the imaginative range of her poetry. The book is a record of experience, a widely lived life. There are poems set in her native New York City, in the Everglades, in Morocco, in the Anasazi villages of the American West and in her adopted country, Ireland. There are poems in the voice of her mother undergoing treatment for cancer and others that explore her Jewish heritage. Her succinctness of thought and her epiphanies are evident in ‘In this desert landscape / there is little enough to measure yourself by’ and ‘children are always / at the mercy / of the deal’. In her style and subject matter Grace Wilentz broadens the reach of recent Irish poetry.