Dimity Knights powerful and compelling Joined at the Fingertips grew out of her life as mother of an autistic son and will strike chords particularly in the hearts of those who have faced the problems of a child who is in any way different from the norm. Yet the books relevance and appeal are broader; this collection of poems explores in simple and moving verse the complexities of relationships between all parents and offspring. Her poems are carefully crafted, whether in passionate free verse or the intricacy of sonnets. Her own despair takes us into dark moments with her, but through it all is an unquenchable sense of love and joy. – Dr Valerie Volk
Joined at the fingertips
Poems about autism, family and surviving
By : Dimity Knight
Pages : 62
Publisher : Morning Star Publishing
Dimensions : 148mm x 210mm
IBSN : 9781925208337
|Dimensions||148 × 210 mm|
Morning Star Publishing
148mm x 210mm
It’s an amazing book, just 35 poems and yet it perfectly captures the heart of living with autism, commuting the pain and the joy into words that touch your heart. It’s a must-buy for both those with autistic family members and those who want to know how their friends and relatives cope with the increasingly common experience of dealing with autism.
As the parent of an autistic daughter Joined at the Fingertips resonated with my experience more than anything else I have read. Autism is a popular subject for TV but, as always, Hollywood gets as much wrong as it does right. Joined at the Fingertips hits the nail on the head every time with an honesty and love that is cathartic in its power.
With only 35 poems it’s still difficult to pick a favourite. Is it “Son Rise” with its celebration of the unique experiential joy that I notice in my own daughter? Is it “The Pond” with its accurate metaphor of those with autism as held beneath a pond, protected by the barrier that separates them from the world, often not interested enough to step out of the water. And their parents experience of trying to breathe as they step beneath the pond’s surface to try and contact or translate for their child. Or is it ‘I felt you on the wind’, the first writing of autism I have found that acknowledges the uncanny spiritual awareness that can be present in these clinically honest children.
But if I had to pick a single poem that hung with me it would be ‘How Does It Feel’ where in a simple serious of statements Dimity Knight captures my life. For I too have ‘no time for embarrassment’, have had to “explain strange behaviour to curious children”, washed hands that slapped and bandaged legs that kicked. I too have known what it is like to ‘die inside every time you hear a two-year-old speak”. I too have ‘cherished rapture at ordinary things’, treasured smiles and touches I may have missed in my other children. I too know the answer to the question posed: “How does it feel/to mother an autistic child”.
So, the next time you’re asked: ‘how do you cope?’. Or the next time you wonder ‘what would it be like?’, pick up Joined at the Fingertips and you will have your answer.