Omar Sabbagh on Patricia McCarthy’s ‘Hand in Hand’

The High Window

hand in hand latest cropped 2




The Long-Lived Love of Longing
on Patricia McCarthy’s  Hand in Hand


‘Touch me – in order to be lost in
the angelic silences Brendan preferred
after the white bird’s singing, restoring
apocalypses of the untranslatable word.’

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx‘Harp Song’

‘… fingers crossed

I was left with no clothes befitting a wife
and myself on my hands, as afraid of staying
with you as of drawing apart….’

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx‘Breaking Up’


Patricia McCarthy’s latest book, Hand in Hand, a collection-long sequence versioning the mythos of Tristan and Iseult, is a rich storehouse of legend and lore, myth, history and religion, among other telltale things.  The book, we learn early on, has been in the works for over four decades; so, it’s no wonder that this collection should be so earthed and grounded in research (worn lightly though) and long-lived consideration; and…

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