As the Trees Have Grown
I opted to water the small tree
by hand, at its base,
so that relief would speed
straight to its roots.
The poems in Stephanie de Montalk’s new collection engage with the world as if through a window – cloaked, distanced, and guided by the movements of the seasons, the weather, and always, trees. As de Montalk seeks a cure to the life-changing limitations of her physical self, she finds something close to solace in dreaming.
These poems are always evocative, mysterious, reaching towards the possibility and hope of healing.
Praise for Stephanie de Montalk
‘De Montalk’s talent lies in gentle satire, graceful endings and musicality . . . I was left with the impression that silences are what interest de Montalk most. What is unsaid . . . in the pause between stanzas as we digest what has gone before and in the dying away of the last line of a poem.’ —Paola Bilbrough, on Animals Indoors
'The book is political, fierce, open, buzzing with ideas about how the body treats the mind and vice versa. Books like this one remind us that we should never get used to anything.’ —Damien Wilkins, on How Does It Hurt?
Stephanie de Montalk is the award-winning author of four collections of poems, including Animals Indoors, which won the 2001 Best First Book Award, the novel The Fountain of Tears, the biography Unquiet World: The Life of Count Geoffrey Potocki de Montalk, and How Does It Hurt?, a memoir and study of chronic pain. Described by Damien Wilkins as ‘groundbreaking and riveting and beautiful’, How Does It Hurt? was published to critical and medical acclaim, and received a Nigel Cox Award at the 2015 Auckland Writers’ Festival. It was published as Communicating Pain: Exploring Suffering through Language, Literature and Creative Writing by Routledge in 2018. Stephanie was the 2005 Victoria University Writer in Residence, and she lives in Wellington.
Cover: Brendan O’Brien