My enormous thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to participate in the blog tour for the poetry anthology Watery Through The Gaps by Emma Blas. I’m delighted to share my review today.
Watery Through The Gaps is available for purchase here.
Watery Through The Gaps
“A compelling collection that slips between the crevices of the skin and buries itself into your bones.”
Watery Through the Gaps is a book for those waking to the realisation that there is more outside than just us. It is for those of us who long to bridge the chasm between the human and earth experience. These poems are stepping stones leading us through the water. Following the river will lead us home and we will never be alone again.
In Emma Blas’ second collection of poems, she invites you into dialogue with the sea, taking you into the depths and leaving you wondering whether you can trust the current. Despite the terrifying tug of the undertow, we are exactly where we are meant to be.
If you like poetry that ripples through the depths of the self, against the mirror of the natural world, this book is for you.
“This book is as arresting as it is elegantly carved. There’s a power behind Emma Blas’ words. That power is Gaia.” Atulya K Bingham, author of Dirt Witch.
“Emma Blas writes poetry that is all power and poise. It is precise and poignant. Beauty bathed in something both soft and still, yet capable of leaving you breathless. She is a master of using nature themes to evoke emotion that you didn’t even know you were capable of feeling. In her second book, watery between the gaps, she once again delivers a compelling collection that slips between the crevices of the skin and buries itself into your bones. It is both dark and light, brilliantly weaving the two into a masterpiece that leaves you wanting more of her exquisite lines.” Ashley Jane, author of All Darkness and Dahlias.
My Review of Watery Through The Gaps
A collection of watery poems.
Watery Through the Gaps is an intense, textured and captivating collection that I really enjoyed. It’s not actually an easy read, making Emma Blas’ words all the more powerful because the reader needs to concentrate, to read and reread just to scratch the surface of these multi-layered and beautifully written poems. Images and meanings swirl like the sea’s tides and I have no idea if my interpretation and responses are what the author intended, but I found this entire collection utterly fascinating. I think Watery Through the Gaps epitomises the power of poetry as the reader can bring their own meanings to the work, making it a very personal reading experience.
As Watery Through the Gaps might suggest, water, and especially the sea, is a recurring image in the writing. It’s frequently destructive or obfuscating as the poet comes to terms with her identity and sense of loss, but water here also reminded me of birth, creation and possibility so that amongst the bleakness there is hope in wonderful writing. Similarly, there are iterative images of burning and conflagration so that Watery Through The Gaps feels nuanced and balanced.
I loved the physical representation of many of the poems on the page because that representation illustrated meaning so effectively. The lack of upper case letters, especially a capital I, suggested to me the poet’s loss of, and search for, identity, as did the fragmentation of some of the work on the page. That said, I was also reminded of the patterns of the ocean and the boundless nature of the sea where poems meandered across the white space in wavelike patterns. I also found a disturbing sense of suffocation, as if the poet feels she is unable to express her innermost thoughts and emotions, displayed through images of stopping up a mouth. At the same time, Emma Blas explores the relentless and voracious appetite of humanity as it consumes the natural world. Emma Blas employs natural images with sensitivity so that even something small like an ant becomes an effective metaphor for life – or indeed, for destruction, as one of the themes in Watery Through the Gaps is the impact humans have on the planet.
I’m not entirely sure I’ve done justice to Watery Through the Gaps as a reader. I found the collection affecting, moving and thought-provoking, but I fear I have only scratched the surface of the collection’s potential. This is no criticism of the writer, but of my own inability fully to appreciate the nuances of the writing and the range of themes to discover. I shall be returning to Watery Through the Gaps on many occasions in the future as I thought it was excellent and it keeps calling to me.
About Emma Blas
emma blas lives near gijón in spain. her poetry explores transitions, shifts of phase and form in the natural world. you will find her at the beach, walking through the dramatic landscape of asturias, or with her hands in the soil, trying to learn from the earth. it is these crossing points between the physical, psychological and imagined states of life that are painted in her poetry.