Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

In the Dark, Soft Earth

Rate this book
Dig into this delectable journey through the dark, sensual, and ravishing poetry of Frank Watson. Ruminate the searing to the sultry as you absorb this haunting lilt of burning carnality. The poems ignite rapid and surprising shifts in focus and perspective as they twist and turn your preconceptions, allowing the implications to linger in your thoughts.

Vignette verses explore the workings of love, nature, spirituality, and dreams with sprinklings of tarot symbolism and jazzy blues. Together these verses contemplate the subtle underpinnings of a soft earth.

Hear what readers and reviewers have said about Frank Watson’s poetry:

"This collection is truly captivating and beautifully written." —Lenore Jordan, NetGalley (In the Dark, Soft Earth)

“Compact poems replete with stunning and visually arresting images.” —Kirkus Reviews (The Dollhouse Mirror)

“Watson left me wanting more. More poems. More imagery. More blue nights and haunted dreams. More weeping wood and moonlit ecstasy.” —The Portsmouth Review (The Dollhouse Mirror)

“This book was HAUNTING. There is no other word for it. Fantasy, romance, contemporary, mystery, and historical all rolled into one; each poem brought all of my emotions bubbling to the surface. It’s not something I will soon forget.” —Shawna Brooks, Goodreads (The Dollhouse Mirror)

“A collection that is both sensuous and graceful; I found myself drifting into a tranquil garden of dancing words and imagery. The eloquence is revealed in the rhythm as each page prances past the reader. A highly recommended compilation of words become art.” —Patricia Zarounas Murphy (Seas to Mulberries)

232 pages, Kindle Edition

Published July 7, 2020

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Frank Watson

23 books41 followers
Frank Watson was born in Venice, California and now lives in New York. He enjoys literature, art, calligraphy, landscaping, history, jazz, international travel, kickboxing, and powerlifting. Publications include The Dollhouse Mirror, Seas to Mulberries, and One Hundred Leaves. He has also edited several volumes, including The Poetry Nook Anthology, The dVerse Anthology, Fragments, and the Poetry Nook Journal vols. 1-5. His work has appeared in various literary journals, anthologies, e-zines, and literary blogs, but most of all, he loves to share his work on social media. Watson's upcoming poetry collection is In the Dark, Soft Earth.

Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook: @FrankWatsonPoet
Web Site: www.frankwatsonpoetry.com

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
94 (29%)
4 stars
103 (31%)
3 stars
91 (28%)
2 stars
24 (7%)
1 star
10 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 210 reviews
Profile Image for Brittany Lee.
Author 1 book113 followers
September 1, 2020
Where spirit and nature merge as one, its scent... sensual, dark and soft.

I really enjoyed the length of this poetry collection. 8 books are shared, taking me a little over an hour to read. Most poetry collections I've come across feel unfinished or are very short with not much body, this has a FULL FIGURE and even includes colored paintings by famous artists, that the author drew inspiration from— giving credit where credit is due.

I'm picky with my poetry. I liked the nature and spirituality poems the most. I get very tired of reading about how everything reminds a man of a woman, for example—how the wind was her hair and her lips the sun, etc, poems like that don't connect with me. I must FEEL poetry, not simply READ poetry; I'm happy to say many of these poems were for me!

The most precious collection to me were the poems on Tarot and the occult. This was SO neat! I loved referring to the pictures before and after the poems to see what new perspectives and feelings were evoked. I loved this so much, it has inspired me to make this a fun, future project of my own.

The poem IN THE DARK, SOFT EARTH, was a statement all on its own! I can easily see why the book was titled and probably based around this poem alone. This was one of my favorite poems. Nature is so restoring and healing, I love reading about how others experience and perceive it.

Much gratitude to the publisher for the early e-book I won via the Goodreads Giveaway Program. I was under no obligation to write a review, my honest opinion is freely given.
Profile Image for ash |.
555 reviews95 followers
May 10, 2020
Thank you NetGalley, Plum White Press, and Frank Watson for providing a copy for review.

Poetry opens up the doors of perspective into someone's interpretation of the world. It's another way of experiencing language and writing. I consider myself a novice of poetry and yet I quickly found myself becoming enthralled. What I love about poetry is how each individual can find their own meaning and personal interpretation.

IN THE DARK, SOFT EARTH -- the cover and title initially captured my attention. Feelings of love, nature, spirituality, and dreams created a very earthy and ethereal atmosphere albeit dark at times. Frank Watson was able to create sensational verses which evoked strong feelings within my soul. An assortment of emotions came bubbling to the surface, demanding to be felt. I found myself gracefully navigating between pages of landscapes filled with peace and tranquility to jazz filled sultry evenings.

I believe everyone will find a little something of what they're looking for within this work. IN THE DARK, SOFT EARTH will be a collection that I revisit many more times in the future and I look forward to any gained perspective during rereads.
Profile Image for Emma Aisin-Gioro.
19 reviews13 followers
July 5, 2020
First of all, I appreciate the publisher provided me a copy of this lovely collection of poems.

The poems are very gentle and beauteous, along with stunning illustrations. However, just the beautiful words to form poetry is not enough, what truly attracted me is the poems get darker the further you read. I appreciate author's perspective on death and afterlife, along with the occult elements which is very rare to see in modern poetries.
Profile Image for Lu.
746 reviews25 followers
July 7, 2020
Beautifully illustrated. A sensual and entrancing poetry book .

It had been ages since I read poetry, and I had forgotten how powerful poems can be.

What I like most about poetry is that each person reads the verses differently. Our emotions and experiences play a role in how we interpret the words.

In the Dark, Soft Earth is divided into ten books, each of them with a different theme but somehow interconnected.

Some beautiful paintings illustrate the poems or serve as a source of inspiration. In Book 8, for example, the poems are inspired in old tarot cards.

The poems are very passionate and touching. I loved how nature and its elements were incorporated into the verses. It felt like a dream by a faraway mythical beach.

There is a strong sense of passion, love, and loss throughout the book.

"We speak
in smoke signals
around in circles
to the touch"

The majority of the poems are short and can be read individually or in context. I would love to have a hardcover sitting on my coffee table to read through at leisure.

"woman of earth
and mountains
clay and fire_
I will stay
through all the seasons"
DUET, P. 68

Some poems are sensual and passionate, others deal with loss and grief or take the reader into the poet’s wandering mind.

"She slides her problems
into their compartments
but still they get
all tangled up”

It was a very pleasurable read. I recommend a little bit of poetry to everyone, especially in difficult times like we are living in.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.



Reviews Published
Profile Image for Hirdesh.
399 reviews88 followers
April 18, 2020
Thanks for Netgalley & respective publishers for sending me a copy.

Intriguing ! !
Wonderful verse of Metaphor and Hyperbole ! !

This book Poetry has some deep and thoughtful poems, but what happened that Rhythm wasn't captivating which would hold the reader. I think I felt that might be because I've read very ancient poems in my life.
Recommended for poetry readers, as this would astonished you with personification in those simple words.

Profile Image for Bibliophile Rose.
166 reviews104 followers
August 25, 2020
I was given a copy of this collection in exchange for an honest review.

Honestly, when I received this collection I was so excited to read it. I was in a mood of reading poetry. And what intrigued me more was the title.
But when I started reading it. I couldn't connect with its word. The words were so beautiful yet meaningless. The lines were hollow and empty of feelings. I didn't feel anything while reading it. So, I DNF it.
Profile Image for Poptart19 (the name’s ren).
891 reviews4 followers
February 20, 2021
3.75 stars

[I received an ARC copy for free, & this is my honest review]

[What I liked:]

•I especially enjoyed Books 7, 8, & 10. I loved Book 8, “An Entrance to the Tarot Garden”—the language rich & evocative, the ideas resonant.

•I liked the longer poems, especially the ones about relationships: love, grief, desire.

•I like free form verse, & the majority of poems in this collection are. I appreciate the rhythms of Watson’s internal rhymes & line break choices.

•I really like the inclusion of art throughout the book! It set the tone in a nice way.

[What I didn’t like as much:]

•Book 1, which was nature themed, didn’t really resonate with me. The themes were mostly just descriptions of landscapes rather than ideas, & since the language felt somewhat trite & not very imaginative I didn’t enjoy them as much.

•Many of the shorter poems felt vague, not particularly compelling in language, & so I feel like I didn’t have much to grasp onto or contemplate with those. They weren’t punchy enough for three lines, at least not enough to really stick in my mind. I’m not sure what most of them were about.

Overall, I’m glad I read this & will reread it, especially Book 8! And I’m interested to check out more of Watson’s work.
Profile Image for Saylor Rains.
81 reviews44 followers
May 3, 2020
In the Dark, Soft Earth starts strong, the first book in this poetry collection is absolutely captivating. My favorite section in this book thematically, as it uses nature to create beautiful imagery. Watson is able to use nature to his advantage when it comes to painting a picture in your mind. Book two and three introduce the "she" that is in Watson's thoughts. She feels like someone slipping through fingers, a mystery, wearing a mask for everyone to see. The poetry collection is written mostly in all lower-case letters with minimal punctuation, which creates a feeling of continuity.

Book four is where it all begins to slip away from me. Book four abandons the nature that has been present up until now and instead uses jazz and music, but feels more like an interlude than anything. The next few books return to nature and elements, and we arrive at the title poem: In the Dark, Soft Earth. This poem feels like a perfect ending, a "rest at last" to close with. Except this isn't the end. Instead we're met with a book of poetry that is based on tarot cards, which I found to be ill-fitted with the rest of this poetry collection. This section feels less full of feeling and more forced to be picturesque. Book nine was a few short poems that didn't feel cohesive or necessary, and ten was alright but not nearly as dazzling as the beginning of this book.

With all of that being said, I still think Frank Watson is a good writer. The first three sections dazzled me and I adored his writing style. Some of the poems and lines were fantastic and will stay with me. Aside from the books that didn't feel like they fit ruining some of the original continuity, his poetry was well-written. If some of the work was cut out this would've been at least been a four, if not a five, star book for me.

Thank you to Frank Watson, Plum White Press, and Edelweiss for giving me this DRC in exchange for an honest review.
Author 10 books6 followers
June 10, 2020
Poet Frank Watson, author of several poetry books, brings readers a series of short poems that deal with love, nature, spirituality, and other topics. Each poem is a page long or less. Many are quite short.

My favorite is entitled MIRROR:

A doll stares out
the store window
at the little girl
of her dreams

The poem invokes the image of a supposedly inanimate doll sitting in a store window, staring at the girl of her dreams, rather than a little girl staring through the store window at the doll of her dreams.

The book is divided into 10 “Books” (chapters), each with its own theme. Some of the poems are inspired by artwork that is used to illustrate the poem. Most of the artwork used features female figures. There is usually one such poem in each chapter. However, in chapter 8, “Into the Tarot Garden,” each of the poems is illustrated with, and inspired by, a tarot card.

This collection of poems will surprise you and delight you and possibly inspire you to explore your world from a different perspective.

Profile Image for Cass™.
195 reviews87 followers
July 21, 2020
1.5 out of 5

The main aspect that attracted me to pick this up was the little sub-title that read: “Poetry of Love, Nature, Spirituality, Dreams,” so I figured I would be getting into some romanticism-inspired poetry. But I was wrong. None of the poems filled me with wonder or awe. Each one felt like a random cluster of pretty words trying to create some sort of meaning. The formatting isn’t personally my taste and the lack of punctuation mark made it even more confusing. I had to actively sound out the poems out loud to see if I could understand them better that way. Still didn’t help much. I understand that poetry is personal to each individual but I could not understand what sort of message the author was trying to get across. Instead of feeling inspired by the end, I just felt exhausted after spending the whole book trying to decipher each poem.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC of this title.
1 review
May 6, 2020
This book is PHENOMENAL! The poety is amazing! I love the way I could leave reality and fall into this book.
Profile Image for Rosemary Nissen-Wade.
74 reviews41 followers
May 20, 2020
This is intriguing poetry, usually sparse and often reminiscent of Chinese and Japanese forms, but also full of a lyricism that can bring to mind the Romantics, and at times the old English/Scottish ballads.

The poems are almost entirely metaphorical. This is as close as he gets to something that could be taken literally:


she gazed at me
unable to speak
of her nightmare

I gazed back
unable to speak
as I woke from mine

Usually they are much more mysterious and dream-like – yet they are so successful in creating mood, and the metaphors are so understandable, that we feel we know what he’s telling us, in emotional terms at least, even if we couldn’t provide specific, concrete details.

The subtitle is accurate: all those themes are present – the universal themes which make it easy for a reader to identify with what he says, whilst at the same time expressing Watson’s personal experience of them.

This volume is in 10 sections or ‘books’, prefaced by beautiful reproductions of famous paintings, each of which inspires poems in that section. One of the sections is illustrated/inspired instead by a piece of Japanese calligraphy. Another has 22 poems each headed by a Tarot card of the Major Arcana (the ‘destiny’ cards). Some pictures are from the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, most from the Visconti—Sforza.

It happens that I’m a professional Tarot reader and teacher, so of course was very interested in this section. It quickly became clear he was using these images in the same way as the others in the book, as triggers for his own ideas, rather than trying for interpretations consistent with the usual Tarot attributions. Which is fine, and perfectly valid for a book of poetry, especially this book. But I was fascinated to note that, while most were wide of the mark, as one might expect, a few poems were quite close to the meanings I would assign those particular cards. (That probably says something about the nature of archetypes, rather than indicating any prescience on the poet’s part.)

He’s very good at evoking the beauty and mystery of the natural work, with a delicate touch which, again, is reminiscent of haiku etc. Most of the poems are also strongly dream-like. For all the ethereal and fantastical qualities, and for all the metaphorical uses of nature, those descriptions are grounds din accurate observation. His natural world is very real and true – even if it’s also, simultaneously, standing in for a feeling, a mood, an event in a relationship, a search for God.

I was offered a review copy, and I'm so glad I accepted. (Which I did having already some acquaintance with this poet's work and admiration for it.) This book is not only a keeper but one to re-read – for its beauty, and because that beauty creates a kind of solace even when the mood is melancholy.

The book will be released July 7, and available from Amazon.
June 12, 2020
I appreciate the publishers for giving me an advanced readers copy.

In the Dark, soft earth, a collection of 159 poems that delicate speak on nature, spirituality, love and dreams. The poet speaks of mysteries and makes light and plain the uncertainties of life. It has a Gothic feeling and the mood is so dark. The following are my personal interpretations of the different parts in the work.
In Book 1: The poet takes us to the beginning from the end and the end from the beginning drawing the readers into an orbit of desire. The poems in this section talk on discovery, curiosity and loneliness.
In Book 2: We see the elements that mark and shape the concept of time. The hallow nature of man. Death and life as elements that do not depend on time. Quoting the poet: "Time fades like the melody in a French café"
In Book 3: This part, to me, speaks to the innate need for man to have it all together. An assemblage for recognition and the volatile nature of the mind. The poet reduces the whole to segments and jigsaw pieces.
In Book 4: This part moves in rhythm of nature and music.
In Book 5: In the second poem, the poet asks, "What is heaven without a taste of hell?" It dances around two ends of tenderness and viciousness, of life and death, of innocence and vile, of a man and another. Two ends and a need to choose one.
Read the book and tell me what you think of Book 6 to 10.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Pam's Shenanigans.
579 reviews85 followers
May 19, 2020
Thank you, Plum White Press, for the advance reader's copy. This, in any way, does not affect my review of the book.

In the Dark, Soft Earth is as refreshing of a read as it is seductive and enchanting. It is a compilation of poems exploring the beauty of nature, art, love, and self-reflection. Frank Watson manages to passionately paint a picture without overdoing it.

What I like about it is the incorporation of real paintings and even tarot cards as inspiration for his poems. I found that most of the entries I bookmarked and highlighted are mostly the ones about nature infused with romance. One of my faves:


what is heaven
without a taste
of hell?

the scene is set
the curtains drawn--
it's time for our duet

it's easy to begin
but harder than sin
to stay until the end

woman of earth
and mountains
clay and fire--
I will stay
through all the seasons

In the Dark, Soft Earth will be released this coming July 7!
Profile Image for Elizabeth Gauffreau.
Author 6 books48 followers
June 6, 2020
Frank Watson’s third poetry collection, In the Dark, Soft Earth, is a poetry without buildings. It takes us out of our built environments to see the earth as earth--independent of human inhabitants--before exploring our relationship with the earth: at times harmonious, at times uneasy, at times conflicted. Some of the poems are contemplative, suggesting larger questions of human existence, while other poems, particularly the dream poems, are purely experiential. We are meant to drift into them and back out of them, without the need to ask why or how.

As a reader, I particularly appreciated how the book is structured. At 230 pages, the collection is much longer than other poetry collections I’ve read recently, which all came in at well under 100 pages. In the Dark, Soft Earth is arranged into ten “books,” of about 20 pages apiece. These “books” function as thematic suites of short poems referring back to the collection’s subtitle: “Poetry of Love, Nature, Spirituality, and Dreams.”

Each “book” is thematically introduced and punctuated with images of paintings, including Pablo Picasso’s “Three Musicians,” Edward Hopper’s “Night Hawks,” and Salvidor Dali’s “Mad Tristan,” to name just a few. In addition to enjoying each poem individually, I found the book as a whole a pleasure to read. (I read it on a Kindle Fire.)

In several poems, such as “entangled,” the pronoun ‘she’ appears without a direct referent. The reader can’t tell if the use of ‘she’ is a personification of the earth or if the earth is being used as a metaphor for a woman. I found this to be a very effective way of conveying how inextricably linked to the earth we humans are--whether we choose to acknowledge it or not:


upside down
the world sails forth
through pond water trees

the branches
of her desire
entangle me
wherever I go

those eyes
that capture me
beneath her tangled hair

those eyes that flicker
the sunlit grass between
the fallen leaves

Book 8, “An Entrance to the Tarot Garden,” is a departure from the approach of the other sections of book; each of the poems is an ekphrastic response to a card from the tarot. Nonetheless, these poems are still tied thematically to the rest of the collection.

I greatly enjoyed In the Dark, Soft Earth. I highly recommend it to readers who appreciate the contemplative and the dream-like.
Profile Image for Danielle Luet.
Author 1 book2 followers
April 17, 2020
Not a lot of poetry speaks to me, but the passages in Frank Watson’s “In the Dark, Soft Earth,” were so ethereal, it was hard not to get lost in the imagery he was so creatively portraying. As a tarot reader, the tarot specific chapter actually helped me in understanding some of the cards better that I had trouble with.

I’d you are a poetry lover and a mystic, do yourself a favour and add this book to your collection.
Profile Image for Wulfwyn .
1,101 reviews99 followers
April 18, 2020
I enjoyed this book of poetry. I love poems that give me feels and ones that fire my imagination. I found both types in this book. My favorites were the chapters titled Omens and An Entrance to the Tarot Garden. The poems in Omens included a few about death that gave me chills and sang to my heart. In the Tarot Garden the Tarot deck used was one I am very familiar. This really resonated with me as I would often meditate on a card from this deck. The author did include artwork which enhanced the experience of reading his book of poems. The other chapters had poems I enjoyed, too. I would recommend it to poetry lovers.
Thank you to Goodreads and the author for providing me with a kindle copy through Goodreads Giveaway. This review was voluntary and all opinions expressed are mine.
4,871 reviews53 followers
May 27, 2020
I won this book in a goodreads drawing.

A good collection of poetry, much of it based on art. I enjoyed the parts inspired by Salvador Dali and the Tarot the best.
Profile Image for Leah.
326 reviews1 follower
May 12, 2020
I had the pleasure of receiving an Advanced Reader's Copy (ARC) of In the Dark, Soft Earth by poet Frank Watson. Thank you for the opportunity Plum White Press LLC.

Frank Watson is an American Poet who was born in California and now resides in New York. He is the author of four anthologies of poetry, the most recent being In the Dark, Soft Earth: Poetry of Love, Nature, Spirituality, and Dreams. Watson has also edited and contributed to several other anthologies including Poetry Nook.

Right from the start, I enjoyed reading this collection of poems by Frank Watson. One of the unique things about this collection of poetic works, at least to me, is that our poet includes prints of contemporary and classic art. Some of his poems are inspired by the artwork, the rest of the prints are included to set the readers mood. The anthology is broken into ten different "books" separated by topic. The overarching theme in this anthology is the earth and our relationship it it, as well as earthly desires.

Several poems stood out for me and touched me in a way that I did not expect. One such poem was "desert of dreams" in Book 6: Beneath the Raven Moon. "on a quiet path/ beneath the crimson rain/ she shadow-walks/ across the desert of dreams/ to pierce my sleeping mind." First, his writing reminds me of e. e. cummings, in that there is no capitalization in Watson's poetry. Second, the image of a woman "shadow-walking" in the rain is one that I can vividly conjure in my mind. Watson captures the dream world perfectly in this poem. "The desert of dreams/ to pierce my sleeping mind" is how all dreams start. One minute we are sleeping and the next our minds take us to a landscape that has infinite dream possibilities. Everyone of us can related to that REM period in sleep where we are aware that we are dreaming and that was awoken in me when I read this poem. There were many more that I could reference, but want you to be able to experience Watson's poetry while reading this book.

I think one of the main reasons I enjoyed this anthology is that Watson's poetry is not only about the earth but is earthy. What do I mean by this? Watson's poetry is organic, raw, and "down to earth." It reveals a deep fascination and relationship with nature that I find soothing and like a balm to the soul. I definitely enjoyed reading it and highly recommend it for not only nature and poetry lovers, but also for those who are looking to branch out and read something meaningful.

I will be using this book for the 2020 PopSugar Reading Challenge- a book published in 2020. What is your favorite poems or collections of poems? Who is your favorite poet? I would love to discuss in the comment section.

Happy Reading!


Profile Image for Steph Warren.
1,261 reviews22 followers
May 11, 2021
*I received a free copy of this book, with thanks to the author and Plum White Press. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*

This poetry collection is split into ten ‘books’: Within the Weeping Woods; Between Time and Space; Assembly Required; Percussion Mind; A Dance Between the Light; Beneath the Raven Moon; Omens; An Entrance to the Tarot Garden; Across the Continents and Stories Before I Sleep. Throughout all of the sections, though, the consistent themes of nature and love recur. The poet blends nature imagery with feminine qualities, until the line between his beloved and the natural world are blurred, and it is no longer clear whether he is describing his lover in natural terms, or nature as a beautiful woman.

Certain motifs also recur throughout the poems: dreaming, kissing, dancing, ‘she’, the moon, darkness, and the vision of long hair blowing in the wind. The imagery is potent, and made more so by the decision to scatter the art that inspired and/or complements the poetry throughout the book, so we can easily bring together the visual and textual depictions.

In form, the poems are short and simply constructed. There is no capitalisation, little punctuation, and the author chooses simple forms and direct, everyday language, making each poem superficially accessible to beginners. It is in how those simple words are placed together with each other to create each word-picture that the art lies, and this is often mirrored in the way the form of the lines reflect the content, like sculptures of print on paper.

For poetry enthusiasts, there is enough range of tone and content to provide something for nearly every taste, in a collection that bears repeated, contemplative exploration. I wouldn’t consider this a collection for beginners to poetry, however, as the reader needs to be willing to read and re-read, and work with the author to dig the deep emotions from this ‘dark, soft earth’.

'standing on the cliffs
at the end of the world
we follow the frozen stream

as it winds through
depositing us deep
into the earth
where it all began'

– Frank Watson, ‘where it all began’ in In the Dark, Soft Earth

Review by Steph Warren of Bookshine and Readbows blog
Profile Image for Rohase Piercy.
Author 7 books49 followers
May 6, 2020
This latest collection of 'micro poetry' from Frank Watson is divided into ten sections of uneven length, each clustered around a theme – which may be as general as 'Time And Space', as specific as 'An Entrance To The Tarot Garden' (which takes us through the twenty-two cards of the Major Arcana), or as idiosyncratic as 'Percussion Mind', which explores the poet's love of Jazz.

When interviewed about his preference for short, image-focussed verses, Watson explained that whilst working on translations of ancient Japanese and Chinese poetry he came to appreciate the social function of short verses like the haiku - often composed on the spot as a greeting or a thankyou when visiting or leaving a home or gathering. This idea of 'social poetry' - a brief, pithy verse conveying one central, visual image – took root and became his preferred poetic form; an ideal one to share on social media such as Twitter and Instagram!

A micro-poem should conjure up a lasting, vivid image in the mind of the reader, and Watson does this splendidly in some verses whilst falling short in others. Phrases such as 'on a blue evening/ swimming in Jazz' (Interlude, Percussion Mind), 'spinning /into centuries/of cracked earth/ with stories told/ of continents/ that drift apart' (Continents, Within the Weeping Woods), and 'Because she does not seek/the golden bird/ it rests on her branch' (Empress, An Entrance To the Tarot Garden) are eloquent and powerful; others such as 'when the crows/ carve their claws/into the electric night' (Hemlock, Beneath The Raven Moon) and 'mist rises in the aftermath/and whistles the sound/of graveyards in the wind' (Battlefield, Omens) are clumsy and make no grammatical sense – in a micro-poem, attention to detail is everything, and I do feel that Watson sometimes misses his mark.

Having said that, his poetry is haunting and evocative, and the beautiful art that intersperses the pages (including paintings that have inspired a particular verse) captures the mood of his words perfectly. If you love words and images, this is a book to treasure and dip into time and again.
Profile Image for Baylee.
886 reviews130 followers
July 26, 2020
Puoi trovare questa recensione anche sul mio blog, La siepe di more

Questo libro mi è stato gentilmente inviato dalla casa editrice

Sono molto contenta di confermare nella recensione quella che era stata la mia prima impressione quando la CE mi ha proposto di leggere questo libro: è una raccolta di poesie davvero interessante.

In The Dark, Soft Earth è diviso in dieci libri e ognuno di essi si concentra nel suscitare impressioni diverse, che vengono rafforzare dalla presenza di vari dipinti alternati ai componimenti. Leggere questa raccolta è stato come ammirare una mostra di acquarelli.

Inoltre, sono stata colpita a tradimento dal fatto che l’ottavo libro è dedicato ai Tarocchi, una delle mie passioni (magari un giorno ve ne parlo più diffusamente), ed è bello vedere ancora una volta queste carte utilizzate per quello che, a parer mio, sanno fare meglio: ispirare nuova arte.

Quindi, io consiglio la lettura di questa raccolta: uscirà il sette luglio ed è in inglese, ma non impraticabile se il vostro livello è buono.
Profile Image for Carlos Silva.
144 reviews29 followers
April 25, 2020
Poetry has always been a genre that I admire from afar. I write a few poems every now and then, and lyrics are my favorite thing about music, but other than that, I don’t read many poems. I saw In the dark, soft earth on NetGalley and it caught my eye because of its concept regarding nature. I was not disappointed.

Frank Watson’s works are very fluid – this is a very quick read that makes sense in its entirety and delivers beautiful mental images. The author is very good at painting pictures with his words through the various short poems. The illustrations included every few pages are also a great addition to the writing. The chapter in which every tarot card inspired a poem was my favorite – especially the one for the Magician.

This is absolutely perfect for a rainy day. I will most definitely reread this sometime soon.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for granting me an e-ARC.
Profile Image for Kaye.
Author 4 books47 followers
August 8, 2020
I was given a copy of this collection in exchange for an honest review.

I think there's a fine line between minimalism and not saying anything at all. This collection is set up with famous artwork and then poems responding to the artwork so it reads like responses to prompts you'd see in a college poetry class. While the poetry for the most part isn't bad, the poems just don't say much on their own. I liked the second section about time and space as well as the seventh called Omens, and had the poems been fleshed out I think it would have been really captivating, but it was so sparse as to be kind of forgettable. This collection also relies on cliched ideas without really moving them beyond and making them the poet's own, and there were some places were random hard rhymes would pop up which were jarring. Overall I'd say it wasn't an awful collection but definitely not for me, though I appreciate the offer to read it.
186 reviews4 followers
May 6, 2020
Frank Watson's In the Dark, Soft Earth is a beautiful collection of poetry in a variety of subjects and accompanied by beautiful artwork. I enjoyed reading it immensely, and could barely put it down unless I absolutely had to. I especially enjoyed the section based on the Major Arcana of a tarot deck, in which Watson provided an image of each of the card from one of two very classic, beautiful decks, then wrote a piece based on that card. I collect unique Tarot decks, and even enjoy dabbling in readings occasionally, so seeing someone write a series of poems on it inspired me to try writing Tarot poetry or short fictions myself (or even turn it into a game with my writing friends). Watson is a skilled poet, and I greatly recommend it to anyone with an appreciation for poetry and art.
Profile Image for Katerina Canyon.
31 reviews
April 18, 2020
There is a lot that could be said about Frank Watson's In the Dark, Soft Earth. It has amazing ekphrastic poetry. The artwork Watson chooses for his poetry is simply breathtaking. His poem "empress" is based on the fiery painting "The Empress" by Benifacio Bembo
"because she does not seek
the golden bird
it rests on her branch".
Watson's work is deeply, darkly metaphoric.
If you like your love and spirituality to come with a sense of dark irony, this is the book for you. Watson captures the dark hopelessness of death in "The Devil" "what you see is that you are a slave".
This book is broken into ten "books", and each carries an influence of spirituality that runs from a light tinge to a hard influence.
There is a lot of good work here. Definitely worth a read.
1 review
April 10, 2020
This piece has such an alluring affect on the reader and honestly became more captivating by each sentence. I’ve recently discovered this author on the media and must I say I’m very well eager to read more of his books. For those of you out there looking for a peace of mind and a fantastic read as well I would highly recommend this.
1 review2 followers
April 8, 2020
This Book is breathtaking, it only takes a matter of second before you find yourself lingering deep into the pages. It only took me a day to finish it and I can say it’s one of my favorite books so far.
Profile Image for Nancy.
126 reviews6 followers
April 10, 2020
“In the Dark Soft Earth” by Frank Watson is a beautiful book of poetry that you will want to read many times. It has lush, thought provoking imagery. I enjoyed it very much.

I thank the author for the ebook I received from Goodreads Giveaways.

Displaying 1 - 30 of 210 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.