By D. Walsh Gilbert
Once the Earth had Two Moons is a kind of fairytale or myth which is not exactly imaginary. Complete with the requisite dark core and happy ending, it narrates the author’s journey through breast cancer diagnosed 30+ years ago.The poems are written in metaphor withextraordinary imagery. As a fantasy and after decades of reflection, D. Walsh Gilbert could finally touch the magic of recovery and retell her story. It is neither clinical nor graphic.It aims to conjure the surreal nature of major surgical transformation and the struggle to restore femininity following a genuine metamorphosis.
(D. Walsh Gilbert’s deft skill and unique imagination are immediately at work in her new collection, Once the Earth had Two Moons. Her opening poem, “Discovery,” describes an idyllic place of fairytale-like fantasy: “My home & garden sprawl atop the canopy / of a single tree so tall some stars blink beneath it.” Into this fantasy comes a gravely unwelcome diagnosis. Gilbert uses rich metaphor and starkly original language to take the reader on a journey of discovery, diagnosis, treatment, and healing, without ever fully abandoning the realm of illusion. Her vivid imagery carries the reader through a sometimes-hallucinatory world, as in the poem “Surgery,” in which a patient is a damsel fly specimen facing a man in a bowler hat with a stiletto hidden behind his back. Gilbert’s poems are powerful; the story they tell is a compelling one. I read through this collection in one sitting. Then I read it again.)
—Pat Hale, author of Seeing Them with My Eyes Closed
Available to buy now as a 26 page chapbook from Amazon priced at £7.99 or an ebook in Portable Document (.pdf) Format to download from our Ko-fi Shop for £3.99