Memorial by Alice Oswald
A Version of Homer's Iliad

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Oswald’s war memorial has taken the forgotten names and chiseled them in marble. She has made a poem that blooms out of slaughter.
-NY Times

Synopsis

“The most remarkable and affecting book of poetry I encountered this year.”—James Wood, The New Yorker


In 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.
 

About Alice Oswald

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Alice Oswald is the author of five previous books of poetry. She has been awarded the T.S. Eliot Prize and the Forward Poetry Prize. She lives in Devon, England. Eavan Boland was born in Dublin. The author of more than a dozen volumes of poetry and nonfiction, she is a professor and the director of the Creative Writing program at Stanford University.
 
Published September 10, 2012 by W. W. Norton & Company. 113 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by William Logan on Dec 21 2012

Oswald’s war memorial has taken the forgotten names and chiseled them in marble. She has made a poem that blooms out of slaughter.

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