What You Hear in the Dark gathers the best of Sonia Gernes' three previous books of poetry and builds on their themes with three sections of new poems that give lyric voice to the thoughts and questions that surface in the midnight hours: the value of the lives we've chosen, time and mortality, the struggles with belief. Like Teilhard de Chardin, Gernes is convinced that we find the universal by going deeply and authentically into the personal, and these poems detail the small human dramas that reveal us to ourselves. Both the new and the selected poems distill Gernes' impulse to give voice to the voiceless and to nudge her lyrics toward narrative. She writes of survival and longing on a flat and fertile earth in poems from Brief Lives, of the resiliency and beauty of mid-life women in poems from Women at Forty, of a young woman thrust into teaching at a Minnsota, Indian School in 1930, and a pioneer woman undone by Australia's forbidding terrain in A Breeze Called the Fremantle Doctor. As Miller Williams says of her work, it has returned poetry to its first purpose the telling of tales] with grace and wit. searching through quotidian experience for the ultimate equation, the voice beyond sound, the is beyond our stories of it, and the X that equals God. Whether about her mother's long descent into Alzheimers or the mystical urges of a nineteenth-century ancestor, these are luminous poems, shot through with delight in the natural world and with Gernes' hope that even among inconstant stars, our world revolves eastward darkness ever spinning toward the light.