Divided into ten books and including a selection of carefully-chosen paintings, Watson creates a world of fantasy, wonder, and reflection. Of importance here are the concepts of rebirth and transformation.
In particles, he writes of “all the dust/ that’s swept into/ the world’s wind/ and the particle/ that is me……reborn/ to the joy/ of another day.”
In origins there is an allusion to Rilke’s Duino Elegies :
“to the poet/there is a love for beauty/in all its/ terrifying forms” In addition to the paintings with ekphrastic poetry, Watson also devotes a section to music , Book Four -Percussion Mind, with a Picasso painting at its start, allowing the poet to talk about music and Cubism as well.
The poetry itself is slightly-tinged with rhyme, and usually consists of short lines full of sensual imagery in an economy of words. distance form Book One contains a vivid example: “her skin/ is moonlight on the shores/where I am wrecked/and will not return.” Rebirth and transformation does not exclude the presence of love, which Watson weaves together in beautiful, haunting poetry.
In the Dark, Soft Earth presents readers with a lyrical world of beauty, reflection, and mystery. It is actually several books in one, and sustains its themes very well.
Arthur Turfa, author of Saluda Reflections, Finishing Line Press, © 2018