Dream Horse Press
A. E. Watkins' Dear, Companion
Praise for Dear, Companion
"John Keats was of the belief that a 'life of any worth is a continual allegory.' A.E. Watkins debut collection takes on the notion with a lovely seriousness. The brilliance in these poems isnt simply in their lyric suretya music so unfailing it turns image melodiousbut in using lyric for a purpose often neglected in contemporary poetry. The poems here become a space in which the grain of the personal is held within the furrow of the allegorical, and over the course of a year, we witness the speakers identity suffer into symbolic sympathy. That sympathy is erotic and agriculturalthat ancient twiningand allows Watkins to invoke the world of Orpheus and Eurydice into his own, all while showing his readers, as a poet must learn to do, the reciprocal consequences of having ones own life called back into the forgotten one. Well, the forgotten world save only for poems such as these, which refuse to accept the post-modern condition as a separation from our allegorical one. These are poems of wonder and nostalgia, and a reminder that such conditions are not easy, but are instead evidence of the very wound that 'wondered this world green.'"
"Herein, a poetry that takes its time, forgoing pyrotechnics for a low, slow burn. Other elemental activity's here as wellthe wind flogging the prairie; the mind dirtying itself; a glass of water having its way with a stick. Dear, Companion is a definitive bewilderment, a bountiful catalog of thought and observation and loss. Read it and reap." Graham Foust
About the Author:
A.E. Watkins is a graduate of the St. Mary's College of California MFA Program and currently attends Purdue University, where he is pursuing a Ph.D. in nineteenth-century British literature. Dear, Companion, his first collection of poetry, was runner up for the 2011 Amercian Poetry Journal Book Prize. His poems and reviews have appeared in Barrow Street, Copper Nickel, Denver Quarterly, Hayden's Ferry Review, Ninth Letter, Sycamore Review, and elsewhere.
From Dear, Companion:
Orpheus, to His Own Persephone
The Midwest admirably measures your absence.
My windshield frames this landscape where your presence voltas.
The mother, done searching, tucks me in her
grieving, wrings the warmth from her hands until winter
cracks the home water heater and piping. Then the nymphs fall to
pieces and stream deep through fissures to meet you.
My mind drifts to motor from the weather where it happens.
I can only find you in the window of your name, which locates
you in prairies not possible. My eyes follow the smokestacks to gather
the billow-down clouds that canopied our slumber.
The factory airs replace the underground, un-land lock populations.
Your presence in every location below this winter whitewashes
me completely. This is how I spill across several time zones,
tidal and thoughtless.
Copyright © 2012 A. E. Watkins