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The Met Office Advises Caution
RRP: GBP£ 9.99
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Price: GBP£ 8.99
This title is available for academic inspection (paperback only).
ISBN: 978 1 784102 72 2
Categories: 21st Century, British, First Collections, Humour, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: September 2016
216 x 138 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (Kindle), eBook (PDF), eBook (EPUB)
Digital access available through Exact Editions
‘Below the tree
free-riding on the water
a shadow plays,
ripe for idolatry.
I believe the tree
and note it down as the answer
to its own question.’
Rebecca Watts’s debut collection is a witty, warm-hearted guide to the English landscape, and a fresh take on nature poetry. In assured style, Watts positions herself where Wordsworth, Frost and Hughes have stood; with an original point of view and an openness to the possibilities of form, she retunes the genre for modern ears.
From the wide-open plains of ecology and social history to the intimate enclosures of dreams, homes and bodies, these poems approach their often-unusual subjects with the clarity and matter-of-factness of Simon Armitage and with humour that recalls Stevie Smith, spinning memorable scenes and vivid images from the material of ordinary language.
Animals, as familiars and omens, abound. Weather anticipates and directs human drama, under the analytic and tender watch of a poet influenced as much by science and realism as by Romanticism. As landscaper, orienteer and companion, Watts finds new ways of negotiating the complex territories of our physical and emotional worlds.
'The title poem gently alerts us to the shared vulnerability of man, creature and environment. Brief encounters and deep connections with animals are perceptively drawn while the weaker links between people are pinpointed with needle-sharp satire.'
Financial Times Best Books of 2016 'The Met Office Advises Caution is, without doubt, a deft take on nature poetry, but we would be remiss to read it simply as that. Watts has not only begun reworking the tradition for the present era, but has also started to fill it with a life and range that helps us make new sense of the past.'
The London Magazine 'Well edited, deceptively simple, quietly shrewd. [A] truly lovely group of articulate, intelligible, clean, clear-sighted poems, which despite their unassuming exteriors, belie the scuttle of enigmatic presences beneath.'
Will Barrett, The Poetry School Books of the Year 2016
'Humour, philosophy, feminism and the natural world might not necessarily make for comfortable poetry bedfellows, but [Watts] has them fitting together perfectly. The contents of wheelie bins, Zen trees, a suffragette audaciously mounting a penny farthing bicycle, athletic tracks and the fate of country moles - the poems offer levity and depth, always revealing a ''clear hard road, made for going along''.'
Sarah Hall, Guardian Best Books of 2016
'Rebecca Watts's poems adopt strange and illuminating vantage points - the bird's-eye view of a hawk, or a Victorian lady surveying a street from a penny-farthing - to do poetry's work of telling the truth, but telling it slant. Watts is particularly attuned to those points where human and non-human creatures meet and interact, and writes with intelligence and incision.'
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