NEW HOPE INTERNATIONAL REVIEW

An independent small press poetry review

NHI independent review
GILL McEVOY: UNCERTAIN DAYS
HappenStance
21 Hatton Green
Glenrothes
Fife
KY7 4SD
UK
ISBN 0 9550280 7 8
3

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GILL McEVOY: UNCERTAIN DAYS

One of the strengths of Ms McEvoy's poetry is that she writes about what she really knows. A substantial amount of what she knows, at least within the body of this collection, is familial incompatibility, illness and death. In a lesser poet these ingredients might have been prescriptive for mawkish self-pity and reader alienation. Ms McEvoy has, with few lines, communicated not only her feelings (subtle and gut) but also a sense of people and place. FOR FINBAR:

	The stars are like apples
	crowding the tree.
	You could have picked them one by one,
	kept them in the pocket
	closest to your heart.

	But it is I who watch the stars,
	I, who cannot name them as you did,
	and the pockets of my heart are filled
	with holes, the bright apples
	always out of reach.
Although most of the poems are short, there is no sense of truncation; she shows just enough of her world to draw the reader in to feel, as far as is possible, what she has felt. That this is done with a restrained, descriptive lyricism that in no way detracts from the strength of those feelings shows rare ability from BREAD:
	I am considering your death, my illness,
	the burden of uncertain days.
	I ball up tight the springy globe,
	stretch it like a rubber band, let it go.

	It moulds itself into a mass
	of yeasty muttering,
	like men straining at a heavy task,
	sweats and mumbles,
	making something of itself. It grows

	a mushroom sponge of hope.
	I punch it down. It's mine to shape.
UNCERTAIN DAYS is a moving collection communicated by a poet who has an individual voice and an integrity that encourages a reader to listen to it.

reviewer: Michael Bangerter.