Review Watching Swifts by R.J. Askew This book is one of those that keeps popping back in your mind. Prose and verse, or verse written as prose entwined with verse. I was drawn into the mind and world of the swift man. This author has the rare ability to capture his reader with a form of prose which keeps you wanting more. I had to know what happened with him, his antagonist (the female photographer he’s talking to) and the swifts. Yes, the swifts, those lovely birds, the harbingers of summer and hope for better times. When things ended different from any ‘regular’ novel would I was actually glad. I felt happy for the swift man, the swift, and the gardener, I felt sorry for the photographer who inadvertently lost her chance of life anew. Or had she? The form this novel is written in allows for a play in the head of the reader. It is narration and little dialogue and yet, you can imagine the dialogue that is there nonetheless. A monologue and yet it is not, for he isn’t there alone on stage, on the pages, the other characters are there too. Flesh and bone, you care for them, you loath and turn to feel sorry for them. Or even cheer them on.The language this author uses has a rhyme and a rhythm to it which almost at times feels archaic, yet very now.It is a book that touched me. It shows feelings, inner turmoil and resolution to be more than one thinks one can ever be. This book is isn’t one to read swift, but to cherish and reread passages, sentences, for they seem to be unlocking emotions and thoughts on a level not many modern day novels do.