Memorial

Memorial

Alice Oswald

Poetry

"The most remarkable and affecting book of poetry I encountered this year."—James Wood, The New YorkerIn this daring new work, the poet Alice Oswald strips away the narrative of the Iliad—the anger of Achilles, the story of Helen—in favor of attending to its atmospheres: the extended similes that bring so much of the natural order into the poem and the corresponding litany of the war-dead, most of whom are little more than names but each of whom lives and dies unforgettably and unforgotten in the copious retrospect of Homer's glance. The resulting poem is a war memorial and a profoundly responsive work that gives new voice to Homer's level-voiced version of the world. Through a mix of narrative and musical repetition, the sequence becomes a meditation on the loss of human life.
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Falling Awake

Falling Awake

Alice Oswald

Poetry

Winner of the 2017 Griffin Poetry Prize: "Vivid...further proof of [Oswald's] bold engagement with poetry's narrative possibilities." —Teju ColeAlice Oswald's award-winning and highly acclaimed volume Memorial ("wryly ingenious," said the New York Times Book Review) portrays fallen soldiers from Homer's Iliad. Falling Awake expands on that imagery—defining life as a slowly falling weight, where beings fight against their inevitable end. Oswald reimagines classical figures such as Orpheus and Tithonus alive in an English landscape together with shadows, flies, villagers, dew, crickets—all characterized in tension between the weight of death and their own willpower.FROM "VERTIGO"let me shuffle forwardand tell you the two minute life of rainstarting right nowlips open and lidless cold all-seeing gaze
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Nobody

Nobody

Alice Oswald

Poetry

A collage of water stories from the Odyssey, reconstructed as a mesmeric and hallucinatory book-length poem by acclaimed poet Alice Oswald.In Memorial, her unforgettable transformation of the Iliad, Alice Oswald breathed new life into myth. In Nobody, she returns to Homer, this time fixing her gaze on a minor character in the Odyssey—a poet abandoned on a stony island—and the sea that surrounds him. Familiar voices drift in and out of the poem; though there are no proper names, we recognize Helios, Icarus, Alcyone, Philoctetes, Calypso, Clytemnestra, Orpheus, Poseidon, Hermes, and the presiding spirit of Proteus, the shape-shifting sea-god.As with all of Oswald's work, this is poetry that is made for the human voice, but here the language takes on the qualities of another element: dense, muscular, and liquid. Reading Nobody is like watching the ocean; we slip our earthly moorings and follow the circling shoal of sea voices into a...
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Dart

Dart

Alice Oswald

Poetry

Over the past three years Alice Oswald has been recording conversations with people who live and work on the River Dart in Devon. Using these records and voices as a sort of poetic census, she creates a narrative of the river, tracking its life from source to sea. The voices are wonderfully varied and idiomatic - they include a poacher, a ferryman, a sewage worker and milk worker, a forester, swimmers and canoeists - and are interlinked with historic and mythic voices: drowned voices, dreaming voices and marginal notes which act as markers along the way.
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