Monday, May 16, 2016

Carol Watts, When blue light falls

This pamphlet When blue light falls  (published by Peter Hughes' Oystercatcher Press in 2008) is the first tranche of a longer sequence. 

What is here is sixteen poems. The first eight (even-numbered, 2 - 16) are like a very slow meditation on blue light, particularly the blue of the sky. The second eight (odd-numbered, 1 - 15) are formally different, the words arranged in very short couplets; the vocabulary and images become less spare ("Ukrainian", "cottonwoods", "lias") and the topics proliferate. But behind this second half, and connecting it in some way to the concerns of the first, there's a distinct diurnal sequence from early morning through to night. 

This second part is sometimes agitated, in fact it's the seriousness of the thought that compels attention throughout. From the splintered vocabulary come ideas of glass-blowing and television. Some idea of extinction too, as in this poem, from the first half of the sequence: 


yet it is uncertain

if there is this habitat of blue

to speak of

turning its bleak constancy

to what might shine

at my lived

                     and fortunate


a grip loosened into it

might fall or



a word



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