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Watering Can

Caroline Bird

Watering Can by Caroline Bird
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This title is available for academic inspection (paperback only).
Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 847770 88 2
Categories: 21st Century, Humour, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: November 2009
216 x 135 x 8 mm
96 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (EPUB), eBook (Kindle)
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  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Author
  • Contents
  • Awards
  • Reviews
  • You were travelling a grey motorway.
    You had a baby in your lap
    with enormous green eyes
    and a scarily large head.
    You parked the car in a lay-by, sat on the roof,
    held her high like a trophy,
    joked, 'One day all of this will be yours.'

                                              from 'Road-Signs'
    Caroline Bird’s two earlier collections were acclaimed for their exuberant energy, surreal imagination and passion - 'a bit of a Howl for a new generation', wrote the Hudson Review. Watering Can celebrates life as an early twenty-something. The poems, writes Caroline Bird, 'contain prophetic videos, a moon colonised by bullies, weeping scholars, laughing ducks, silent weddings - all the fertiliser that pours on top of your head.' The extraordinary verve and compassion of her verse propels us into the anxiety of new responsibilities. Raw but never hopeless, Watering Can has comedy, wordplay and bright self-deprecation.


    Contents

    The Videos    
    Last Tuesday
    Peaked   
    Wild Flowers
    The Golden Kids
    Impartial Information
    Expecting Rain  
    The Monogamy Optician   
    The Oven Glove Tree   
    Bow Your Head and Cry
    Head Girl   
    Road Signs

    Bright Winter Mornings in Oxford Town   
    Stage Kiss  
    Seesaw   
    Penelope’s Chair   
    D.N. eh?  
    Hard Times 
    Weather Vain  
    Grudge   
    Sun Settlers   
    The Fall of London   
    House and Soul   
    Our Infidelity   
    The Doom   
    Perspectives   
    Poetry as a Competitive Sport   
    Wedding Guest   
    From the Sewer to the Sea: ‘A Healing Progress’   
    Detox   
    Poet in the Class   
    Blame the Poodle    
    Short Story   
    Lunacy   
    The Perfect Man   
    Reminder Notice   
    Mr Bird    
    Flat Mate
    The University Poetry Society
    I Married Green-Eyes    
    Familiar Ground    
    Women in Progress    
    Sky News    
    Closet Affair    
    Inner-city Plot    
    The Alcoholic Marching Song    
    Company of Women    
    XI Tyrant    
    A Love Song    
     

    Caroline Bird is a poet and playwright. Her 2017 collection, In These Days of Prohibition, was shortlisted for the 2017 T.S. Eliot Prize and the Ted Hughes Award. A two-time winner of the Foyle Young Poets Award, her first collection Looking Through Letterboxes was published in 2002 when she was ... read more
    Awards won by Caroline Bird Short-listed, 2017 The Ted Hughes Award for New Poetry (In These Days of Prohibition) Short-listed, 2017 The T.S. Eliot Prize  (In These Days of Prohibition) Commended, 2004 Christopher Tower Poetry Prize Winner, 2000 Simon Elvin Young Poet of the Year Award Winner, 1999 Simon Elvin Young Poet of the Year Award Winner, 2002 Eric Gregory Award Winner, 2004 Peterloo Poets Competition (16-19 year-olds) Winner, 2003 Peterloo Poets Competition (16-19 year-olds) Winner, 2002 Peterloo Poets Competition (16-19 year-olds) Short-listed, 2001 Geoffrey Dearmer Prize Short-listed, 2008 Dylan Thomas Prize for young writers
       'What an original captivating and spellbinding voice. Bird is fearless like 'the girl who dropped her ice-cream down a volcano and leaped in after it'. She's dangerous and witty too with a rare quality of imagination. This is a wonder, a beautifully written book of poems.'
    Lemn Sissay
    Praise for Caroline Bird  'Caroline Bird is a poet like no other, always prepared to shower us in meteors of linguistic playfulness, in a frightening game of hide and seek. We don't always need to understand every explosion of emotion to feel the power and passion. These poems are screenshots, epic movies, ground-breaking nuggets of prose, and something else we can't even find words for. The Air Year is a fantastic, intimate, disturbing and beautiful tour de force.'

    Pat Edwards, London Grip

        'If for Wallace Stevens poetry was the 'Supreme Fiction', Robert Lowell argued 'why not say what happened?' Bird, however, grabs Confessionalism by the throat to produce a surreal if formally controlled autobiography.'
    Julian Stannard, The Poetry Review


    'Caroline Bird's is an unquestionably vigorous and original voice'
    Suzannah V. Evans, The TLS

    'Bird is a master of bleak humour interlaced with wry social commentary.'
    Poetry London


    'Caroline Bird's In These Days of Prohibition is equally pleasurable and disturbing, because it understands the genuinely strange ground on which we must build our thoughts and our emotions. In work of great and frequently comic poise it captures moments of absolute loss of control, and absolute freedom. We recognise that sustained unsettling comic virtuosity is the startling agent by which we engage with such loss, such freedom.'
    - W.N Herbert (Chair of the 2017 T.S. Eliot Prize Judging Panel)
    'Achieves serious funniness by filtering mental illness and addiction through the prism of pop-surrealism.'
    Jeremy Noel-Tod, The Sunday Times


    'Since she published her debut aged 15 in 2002, Bird's witty writing has been wrongly dismissed in some quarters as lightweight. This brave eighth collection (a slant account of her year in rehab) proves those critics wrong from its first page.'
    Tristram Fane Saunders, The Daily Telegraph


    'The poems in this, Bird's fifth collection, explode on the page, bristling with a vision of sanity within madness, order within chaos. She has the ability to describe a tortured soul in a twenty-first century manner, bringing humour, contemporary idiom and irony into the work.'
    Dundee University Review of the Arts


     'The poems of In These Days of Prohibition are disquieting: institutionalised, hedonistic, vacuous and nihilistic. The collection takes a hard look at contemporary society but is, ultimately, uplifting. If Brett Easton Ellis wrote poems, I'd like to think they'd be poems like these.'
    John Field on the 2017 T.S. Eliot Prize shorlist newsletter


    'Her poems burst with linguistic energy.'
    Stephen Knight, Times Literary Supplement
    'An astonishingly assured piece of work.'
    Ruth Padel, Financial Times
    'A carnival of characters spills out of these poems, chased by paparazzi, doing somersaults and cartwheels with language... Caroline Bird puts us on the inside looking deeper in, under the glittering skin to the place where laughter begins, where mothers are children, where people feel pain and speak in tongues, where tongues are knives and "Someone still has to stay here and die".'
    Imtiaz Dharker
    'Bird is irrepressible; she simply explodes with poetry. The work erupts, spring-loaded, funny, sad, deadly - you don't know if a bullet will come out of the barrel or a flag with the word BANG on it.'
    Simon Armitage
    'Her poems burst with linguistic energy, and the book is profligate with striking lines and images.'
    Times Literary Supplement
    'The tone fuses knowing innocence and integrity; some poems are faux naif with a ballad lilt, others are sad, funny surreal; all are studded with fresh imaginative insights.'
    Ruth Padel, Financial Times
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