Gestures of Trees

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This collection of poems presents themes of death, friendship, longing, responsibility, fear, anticipation and reconciliation, frequently looking through the lens of visual and performing arts. Organized in three sections, Mulling, Impasto, and Movement and Sinking, the subjects of her poems are found in the home and neighborhood, in the past and present, in nature, in events experienced vicariously through newspapers and books, or directly by wandering through museums and attending performances. Moods range widely from meditative t turbulent, from connected to detached, from sorrowful to joyful; the poems move from celebrations and observations of the commonplace and the extraordinary to illuminations of the dark and violent.


"'Ut pictura poesis' As in art, so in poetry, said Horace, and in this collection of poems, Judith Ferrara draws the poetic line so that we see what has been unseen, finding surprises in what had been the commonplaces of our worlds. She is living a life of art, exploring her inner and outer worlds in poetry and painting. In these poems she invites us to see with her eyes and, in the nature of art, we put the book down and see with our own eyes what we had not seen before." Donald M. Murray, Pulitzer Prize winning editor, essayist, poet, and Boston Globe columnist

"These are poems of austere beauty, a scarecrow litmus raised between the holy worlds of painting and poetry. Ferrara’s work stands ‘naked and ready,’ and above all keenly observant, like an honest child, her father on one side photographing a dead Japanese soldier, her mother on the other, wringing pain and clothes from an ancient washing machine. These, too, are poems wrung with ‘grace and fury,’ poems of extreme unction, like candles found by a child in a crucifix. They are poems by one who has seen Death in a doorway, one who embraces Life and sees its art everywhere, even within the gestures of trees. A remarkable book from a poet of real power." John Hodgen, poet and teacher

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