Book Review


What Hands Can Hold  

What Hands Can Hold
by Ami Kaye
Xlibris, 2010
132 pages, Poetry
ISBN: Hardcover 978-1-4500-3109-7
ISBN: Paperback 978-1-4500-3108-0
Review by David Caddy, Editor, Tears in the Fence
Number 53, ISSN 0266 5816


“I am similarly fascinated and attracted by Ami Kaye’s What Hands Can Hold (Xlibris 2010). Kaye has a deceptive hybrid style that is based upon her Indian heritage and multicultural background. She was born in Paris, France, has lived in India and now lives in the American Mid-West. Her poems are characteristically terse, imagistic and implied narratives that offer a precise marking and definition of events, objects and emotional states. The reader is effectively drawn into the world of the poem by an emphatic yet sensitive narrative voice. The poems broadly offer a measurement of the idea of unity as a universal metaphor through the motif of hands, which allows the register and play of larger ideas, such as creation, prayer, healing, the heart, love, revelation, support and service, and leads to a magical world that is not without its problems. It is the kind of poetry that might be overlooked as simplistic and closed precisely because it is caught between cultures and yet its value  and strength lies in being in that place. As Ketaki Kushari Dyson writes in the preface to the second and expanded edition of Rabindranath Tagore’s I Won’t Let You Go: Selected Poems (Bloodaxe Books 2010), ‘Different languages give us different ways of relating to the world. In culture as in nature, it is in cherishing diversity that hopes for a healthy evolution lie, and not in any globalized monoculture that flippantly refuses to see any value in what others value.’ Kaye, like Tagore, gives us an impressive wholeness and delicate sensuousness.”