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.
let me shuffle forward
and tell you the two minute life of rain
starting right now
lips open and lidless cold all-seeing gaze
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Alice Oswald has been awarded the Eric Gregory Award, an Arts Foundation Award for Poetry, the Forward Prize, the Ted Hughes Award, and the T.S. Eliot Prize. She lives in Devon, England.Review:
“[Oswald] writes a poetry of the natural world saturated with myth. A long poem about the dawn, 'Tithonus,' may be the most beautiful work I read all year.”
- Dan Chiasson, The New Yorker
“Minutely detailed, ravishing, and rapturously observant. . . . [A] perpetual inspiration.”
- The New Yorker
“Uncompromising and precise visions of a haunting range of experiences and obscure actions.”
- Los Angeles Review of Books
“ Oswald’s choices are subtle at first, as she intermingles stark images ― such as a rotting swan ― with exquisite writing and inserts characters from Greek mythology into the English countryside. These lyrics, while often dark, illustrate poetry’s unique ability to shock readers into a renewed awareness of the world.”
- The Washington Post
“Alice Oswald’s poems are vivid and distinct, alert and deeply, physically engaged in the natural world. . . . [P]oems of simple, stunning beauty.”
- Poetry Daily
“[Oswald] writes with a mind for sounds, syllables, and the patters of speech, informed and inspired by oral storytelling traditions.”
“Nothing is quite like Oswald’s 'Tithonus.' . . . Extraordinarily intriguing.”
“With the sparkle of black jewels; for all poetry fans.”
- Library Journal
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