Rebecca Watts’s debut collection is a witty, warm-hearted guide to the English landscape, and a fresh take on nature poetry. In assured style, Watts positions herself where Wordsworth, Frost and Hughes have stood; with an original point of view and an openness to the possibilities of form, she retunes the genre for modern ears.
From the wide-open plains of ecology and social history to the intimate enclosures of dreams, homes and bodies, these poems approach their often-unusual subjects with the clarity and matter-of-factness of Simon Armitage and with humour that recalls Stevie Smith, spinning memorable scenes and vivid images from the material of ordinary language. Animals, as familiars and omens, abound. Weather anticipates and directs human drama, under the analytic and tender watch of a poet influenced as much by science and realism as by Romanticism. As landscaper, orienteer and companion, Watts finds new ways of negotiating the complex territories of our physical and emotional worlds.