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The Captain's Swallow
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
Mr Carnival Bounces Back 11
The Golden Rule 14
World Crisis in the Aeolian Islands 15
On Vulcano 17
In the Museum 19
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
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
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'
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