Thanksgiving: Summers we'd give thanks to be city born and bred when, come mid-August, our country cousins trudged two weeks ahead to the stern task of learning, the clean-cut drudgery of school. Of course, in October we'd curse the luck that gave them a fortnight repeal of break-knuckle rules - though what could be worse than digging potatoes in muck-caked fields? Who, in their right minds, would envy that chore, and pray - in late November, a thousand miles and many years away - to restore themselves by the grace of clay-coated hands? Elbow-deep in a sack of unscrubbed spuds, we swear never to wash off that red mud. Home resonates in this collection. Heart longs for the Prince Edward Island birthplace left behind, memory building like early frost on fresh laundry. But there is another sense of home for this poet of the Irish diaspora, deep down in legacies of poetry and family lore, bred-in-the-bone, read in the signs of sea and sky. For O'Grady, the poet is charged with turning and returning to such legacies of place and time - with celebrating what really matters.
Throughout this dynamic collection, powered by an imagination that gains momentum like a bicycle running downhill, and pressured by exquisitely turned phrase and rhyme, O'Grady maintains an exhilarating grip on language and landscape, on the wondrous details of poetry, place, and home.