Today's poem is "Hilda and Eddie's Place"
from Jigsaw

Waywiser Press / Dufour Editions

Clive Watkins' poems have appeared in a number of magazines, including Agenda, Outposts, Poetry Durham, Poetry Wales, The Malahat Review, The New Welsh Review, and The Rialto. He has also published papers on Conrad Aiken and Wallace Stevens, and on translations of Shakespeare and Montale.

About Jigsaw:

"What I value in poetry, and find in Clive Watkins’s poems, is a faithful, accurate, attentive eye that is always focused on the subject at hand, a mind that is never self-regarding, does not strike postures, has no designs on the reader. (This alone would distinguish him from most of his contemporaries.) I am struck again and again by how many of the ordinary 'things of this world' get into his poems, and how extraordinary they are as seen through the glass of his language. He writes wonderful sentences, often complex and sinuous, yet utterly clear. And perhaps most of all I relish the richness and subtleties of the sound, the sound that says everything. He handles the verse line with consummate grace and ease, the sense inseparable from the sound, seemingly made of it. More than once, as I read this book, Frost’s praise of Robinson has come to mind, 'phrase on phrase on phrase…and every one the closest delineation of something that is something', and too, 'that grazing closeness to the spiritual realities', and I have thought, that’s equally true of Clive Watkins. Like very few contemporary poets, he can make a chill run up my spine, a little shock of recognition, a sense that the great mystery has, for a moment, been made articulate. I don’t use the word 'great' loosely — great poems are few and far between. But among the many good poems in Jigsaw, there are several great poems — I am thinking of 'The Wagon' and 'Events As Things, Things As Events' and 'Abseil' and 'Green Chapel' and 'At Westerby’s' and 'Cherryburn' and 'Hilda and Eddie’s Place' — and there may be others. If England has produced a better poet since Larkin, I can’t think who it would be."
—Robert Mezey

"Watkins is a poet's poet, a masterful writer of metrical verse — rhymed and blank — but one whose free verse is as good as his formal, a rare achievement. The work is rhythmically powerful and unerring in its lineation, informed as it is by the author's decades of teaching Shakespeare. At fifty-seven, Clive Watkins is a fully formed poet, and his first book cause for gratitude both to him and to the publishing house that brings him to us."
—Timothy Murphy

"Jigsaw marks a mature, accomplished, clear-eyed debut. It is a collection haunted with landscapes — real landscapes of garden and wilderness, and the unreal topographies of memory and dream — 'severe and formal' or edged with thickets and briars. (Even the letters of the alphabet hook together in one poem to become 'thorns of black sound'.) This book has been a long time in the making, and Watkins's reticence has paid off. Poem after intelligent poem is the fruit of 'waiting patiently for the right season, for the right word'."
—A.E. Stallings

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