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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Reader's Diary #89- Enos Watts: Spaces Between The Trees (up to "Beirut Roulette")


With Purdy losing Canada Reads 2006, and Watts losing the Winterset, I'm starting to think poetry has bridesmaid's syndrome.

Regardless, they're both great poetry collections and I'm thankful these competitions have exposed me to them.

Of course, I'm lathering on the praise a little early for Spaces Between The Trees but if the first 18 pages are any indication, I'm going to enjoy this book immensely. I have a folder in which I put some of my own poems, as well as others' poems I discover of which I enjoy. I have already found several of Watts' poems that I deem folder worthy.

The opening poem, "High Wind In November", has imagery that I can only dream of someday writing. Watt's incorporation of auditory images (is there a better term for this?) such as humming of a clothesline, hissing of grass, and crackling of a garbage bag alongside visual images, results in an overall image that is clearer and more effective than a photograph could ever hope to achieve. Keep in mind that I'm a fan of good photography and that Watts does this with mere words. That's an amazing accomplishment when you really think about it.

So far I'm also intrigued by a common thread that seems to be underlying a lot of these poems: mental illness. There are references that imply delusions (ex, "They say, old man, you see/ faces everywhere-"), paranoia (ex, They were prisoners,/ he afraid to go out"), anthropophobia ("Home was his Alcatraz"), and several mentions of pure "madness". Don't worry, I'm not going to catalogue all the psychology stuff as I did with the Margaret Atwood- Werewolf references, but it is going to be something I'm going to watch for as I continue on with these poems.

1 comment:

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You have quite an amazing capacity for poetry. I'll have to work on mine.