“Only the simple things in life are true,” Carolyn Clark writes in Watershed, a book that offers incontrovertible evidence to prove it true. In meditations on the bucolic life of upstate New York, Clark marvels at the enduring beauty of the natural world and finds within it echoes of the Greek antiquity from which some areas take their names. While nature is always welcome in these poems, it is the community of people Clark honors with them that somehow resonate more deeply, perhaps the way they offer stark relief to the isolation and fear of the pandemic. Clark’s book assures us, with warm comfort, that our connections are what keep us aloft, whether marital, communal, or natural.
—Charles Jensen, writer, https://linktr.ee/charlesjensen
Carolyn Clark gets better with each book, each poem. Where else could we get woodlands, strawberries, free range blue eggs, in a world populated by Artemis, Eurydice, Apollo, and horses. To create the beauty and mystery of classic myths within the natural world is to be inside and outside of the imagination, a rare read. Cobwebs, woodchucks, compost, Covid, stars—poems from the pandemic that make us heal. Clark says, “My heart glows with affection.” So do ours, your readers.
—Grace Cavalieri, Maryland Poet Laureate
This book’s title points two ways: literal and metaphoric. In her poems, Carolyn Clark pictures the first and seeks the second. A free spirit with wordplay, rhyme, and cognates across the European language spectrum, she addresses her trees as “rusting red/organ donors/doing their job/better than me” and pauses during a pandemic to “feel no guilt/in rejoicing in nature.” Clark’s work celebrates marriage’s sick days and valentines, a ranch’s new blue eggs and hand tools and dearly aging mares—aware that we are “just one stop away from extinction,” yet affirming hope as a space to live in.
—Mary Gilliland, author of The Devil’s Fools
Carolyn Clark is a keen observer of the world around her, and an excellent communicator of what she sees. Like the best poets, she helps us see our own world more clearly and experience it more fully.
—Michael R. Burch