Puncher & Wattmann
Montale: A Biographical Anthology: Collected Works Volume 1
by John Watson
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“What does it mean to be a poet?
In Montale: A Biographical Anthology wonders of the ordinary are recounted by men we will never know. So Montale (if it is Montale) marvellously mistakes moonlight for snow. John Watson (if it is he) magically mistakes himself for Montale though would like us to believe he is perhaps a third – a ghostlier Monteagle existing in the fictive fictive realm, perhaps knee-deep in snowlight beneath an antipodean moon. The mistakes pile up beautifully. A mistake is a lesson you are surprised to have been taught. And what a surprise is this book! All written in octopus ink. By sixteen arms. Poets sliding in and out of each other. What might I say: “I want to show it to people!”
So read: ‘There is the late Montale, the late late Montale
And the Montale so late as to be almost putting in an appearance
The following morning. He envisaged at this point the poem
As a shared monologue in which there would be a blurring
Of categories so that poems might be almost indistinguishable from
Commentary … ruminations and even occasional preparatory notes.’
Prepare yourself for a poet!” — MTC Cronin
Shortlisted for the 2008 Adeliade Festival Award for Innovative Writing
Shortlisted for the 2007 C J Dennis Award
John Watson was born in the Bland District of NSW and has worked in various jobs, including fruit picking and school teaching. His first book, A First Reader, was published by Five Islands Press in 2003. He was a winner of the Newcastle Poetry Prize in 2002 for his sequence "A Jetty Completely Surrounded."