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The Captain's Swallow

Andrew Waterman

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Categories: 21st Century
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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  • Its juddering starts me awake, the whole apartment
    and from my fridge a clattering of things in it,
    a glass drops to smash on the kitchen floor
    and by now I'm outside on my terrace...
    A second tremor shakes the town under dawn sky.
    And that is all. No buildings have fallen. This time.
    By mid-morning the usual vendor is at
    the far end of the Corso, up from Marina Lunga,
    shouting his wares: 'Swordfish! Fresh swordfish!'

                                            from 'Still Life'
    'It's being mad here keeps us sane,' muses a transplanted Lewis Caroll in Andrew Waterman's new collection, weighing the 'war on terror' against the wonderland of physical and human goings-on around him. The Captain's Swallow demonstrates afresh Waterman's exceptional range of themes and moods, his wit and technical dexterity. The rich and exhilarating new dimensions in these poems' shared setting in Sicily's Aeolian Islands, where Waterman nowadays spends part of each year. As well as current global events, an historical reach back through Saracen pirates to the Greeks and beyond impinges. Encompassing hilarity and poignant lyricism, chock-full of vivid people and places, these poems gather to a book making memorable overall impact, bringing alive human universals within a distinctive world where 'things are not what they seem / except the volcanoes.'
    In the Tyrrhenian Sea 9
    Stromboli 10
    Mr Carnival Bounces Back 11
    The Golden Rule 14
    World Crisis in the Aeolian Islands 15
    On Vulcano 17
    In the Museum 19
    Cosmic 20
    Dark Matter 21
    Broom in May 23
    The Donkeys of Alicudi 24
    United Italy 26
    The Saint Protector 27
    Lava Flow 29
    Conversation Piece 31
    The Drift of Things 32
    Freedoms 34
    At Marina Corta 36
    Meeting Point 37
    Roast Lamb 38
    Peccorini Mare 41
    Still Life 42
    A Leopardi of Lipari 43
    Aeolian Sunset 45
    Summit Talk 46
    Gallimaufry 48
    Nocturne 49
    The Captain’s Swallow 50
    Lewis Carroll in the Aeolian Islands 52
    As I Walked Over 54
    As If There Were No Shadows 55
    To the Observatory 57
    In the Picture 58
    'Waterman is a serious poet, always interesting and intelligent, a writer who extends his range with each book.'
    Julian Symons, The Sunday Times
    Praise for Andrew Waterman 'His imagination teems with the kind of detail one expects from a novelist: to find it coupled to such metrical dexterity is rare indeed. A great entertainer, Waterman is essentially a serious poet'
    Poetry Review
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