Watching Ourselves by Mark Belair
Author: Mark Belair
Title: Watching Ourselves
Watching Ourselves is a collection of poems gathered in groups: how we watch ourselves grow up, observe others, love, look back; how we watch ourselves come to grief, age, receive, and reflect.
We watch ourselves, of course, with difficulty and incompleteness, tasking the poems to strive for a measure of clarity—however partial—as they, like us, struggle to know themselves.
The collection title is not Watching Myself, for the poems are concerned with not only the poet but with a range—a complex—of people and circumstances. The title could as easily have been Watching Each Other.
While the poems are all written in free verse, their poetic approaches vary: couplets, tercets, quatrains, poems with slashes for punctuation, poems with slanted line lengths, short lyric poems, long narrative poems: whatever the poem itself seemed to call for, as each poem was begun because something happened that the poet didn’t understand but needed to.
Watching Ourselves is a collection of poems addressing, and written out of, bewilderment.