Tonight the Summer’s Over

Rory Waterman launched his fine new Carcanet collection, Tonight the Summer’s Over, in Nottingham last week along with Roy Marshall’s The Sun Bathers (Shoestring Press). I can rarely find time to hear a poet read one evening and then read his whole collection the very next day but the ‘luxury’ of two delayed trains afforded me the time to indulge. Waterman’s debut ranges over some painful childhood memories but does so in ways which take his reader beyond the specifics of access visits, outings and parental chats with judges to touch more broadly on the uncertainties of people’s lives, loves and possible futures. There is a dank bleakness to his landscape which reveals his debt to R.S. Thomas (the subject of Waterman’s academic work). Poems are thickly textured with natural observations of ‘dark-skinned deeps…. half-drowned boughs’ and the ‘treeless otherworld’ and yet his collection is also permeated by a glimmer of warmth which lights the way to new possibilities.

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