Best Memorial – rading–

MemorialIn 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 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.

Best Memorial  – rading–
  • Kindle Edition
  • 113 pages
  • Memorial
  • Alice Oswald
  • English
  • 01 January 2017

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About the Author: Alice Oswald

Alice Oswald born 1966 is a British poet who won the T S Eliot Prize in 2002.Oswald read Classics at New College, Oxford, has worked as a gardener at Chelsea Physic Garden, and today lives with her husband, the playwright Peter Oswald also a trained classicist , and her three children in Devon, in the South West of England.Alice Oswald is the sister of actor Will Keen and writer Laura Beatty.

10 thoughts on “Memorial

  1. says:

    The poetry of Alice Oswald is preternatural preternaturally gorgeous, preternaturally immediate and relevant and precise We want to sink into that language and be in that bright place perhaps not to live among the flashing swords , but to die there, amongst one s brethren, with poetry read and songs sung in one s honor Everything about this book is beautiful, and new and bright and contemporary The Afterword written by Eavan Boland answers all the questions one has while reading this wholly original poem, this oral cemetery memorializing the men who fought the Trojan War I am tempted to suggest you read the Afterword first, but no, of course you must proceed directly to the glory that is the language exploring the feel of the Iliad, a story with so many deaths, so many deaths of young and old and brave and foolish and handsome men EPICLES a Southerner from sunlit LyciaClimbed the Greek wall remembering the riverThat winds between his wheat fields and his vineyardsHe was knocked backwards by a rock And sank like a diverThe light in his ...

  2. says:

    10 10I ve been robbed of my first words on this review by Eavan Boland, who begins an afterword by describing this work as luminous Let me add transcendent And sublime And then, I should stop, for it is Oswald who owns the power of words, and not I But when has that ever stopped me Neither a re interpretation, nor a translation of The Iliad, it s easy to suggest that Oswald channels the spirit of Homer through her incandescent verse This is the Iliad as it was meant to be heard, through the voices of the dead, though not one of them speaks Through their actions, through their failings, through the very act of falling down dead in the dust and blood, they sing a song of war that is horrific and appalling they leave grave markers in the dirt, beside their bodies, that say quietly, eerily, be warned, for this is war.The very rhythm of war echoes down the lines of the poems, beating a tattoo of loss and waste and shame Oswald has chosen the most beautiful way possible to describe the ugliest possible actions and repercussions of war, and in this counterpoint, the monstrosity of loss is all the greater.The cadence of her wor...

  3. says:

    An Oral CemeteryPROTESILAUSECHEPOLUSELEPHENORSIMOISIUSLEUKOSDEMOCOONDIORESPIROUSPHEGEUSIDAEUS.Eight pages, five hundred names, the roll call of the dead in the Trojan Wars, they call to mind the names chiseled into the white marble of so many war memorials, filling four sides of a towering column British poet Alice Oswald s poem, variously subtitled a version or an excavation of Homer s Iliad, begins not in verse but in cold statistics She has extracted the names of every person killed, from Protesilaus down to Hector, without regard for heroism or rank, or even whether they were Trojan or Greek War is war, death is death, no matter the reasons for which the armies were fighting.Then she goes through again, offering a brief eulogy or epitaph on all the slain warriors for whom Homer provides enough detail But these passages are not strict translations of Homer As she says herself I work closely with the Greek, but instead of carrying the words over into English, I use them as openings through which to see what Homer was looking at I write through the Greek, not from it aiming at translucence rather than translation.To show this in action, look at this passage Book 6, 23 33 from the classic translation by Robert Fagles Euryalus killed Dresus, killed...

  4. says:

    I have spent all weekend feeling somewhat dazed by this poem I read it twice yesterday I have spent today picking it up, leafing to favoured passages, putting it down again I have bailed people up about it all over the internet I am in the first flush of love, and I think this will be a life long relationship Memorial is Oswald s re writing rather than a retelling of the Iliad She has stripped out all the narrative, all the alliances, the bickering, the backstory, the begging and threatening, blustering and posturing, the fate, the hubris, the tragic story arc She has fined down the poem to two of its key features, ones perhaps obscured by the golden stories of Troy brief descriptions of the non heroic characters, and similes of nature, death, power, time As she writes in the introduction This is a translation of the Iliad s atmosphere, not its story Matthew Arnold and almost everyone ever since has praised the Iliad for its nobility But ancient critics praised its enargeia , whic...

  5. says:

    Alice Oswald says her Memorial A Version of Homer s Iliad is a translation of Iliad s atmosphere, not the story The Afterword by the poet Eavan Boland tells us it s a catalog, comparing it to a cemetery for the Iliad s forgotten dead These are the little known warriors of the epic who receive only mention in Homer s poem Oswald, in small verse biographies, brings them to the surface of the poem while letting Homer s heroes, the likes of Achilles and Agamemnon and Hector and Patroclus, sink out of sight Each biography recording a man s death is followed by a short simile portraying some pastoral or domestic aspect of the man s life Each simile is repeated in a process which Oswald explains is intended to present an elegy like that of a rhapsode which in Homer s Greece was followed by the chorus s repetition The effect is stunning I believe the similes the truest poetry of the book, even if Oswald tells us they re the closest to direct translation An example Like the hawk of the hills the perfect killerEasily outflies the clattering doveShe dips away but he follows he ripplesHe hangs his black hooks over herAnd snares her with a thin cryIn praise of her softnessJames Joyce, who included many in his novels, thought catalogs created a reality That s certainly the effect of Oswald s long poem Memorial becomes a long elegiac contemplation of...

  6. says:

    Alice Oswald slashed seven eights of Homer s epic and compacted it into a hypnotic sequence of biographic vignettes and pastoral similes The shock of violent battlefield death is contrasted with timeless images of an elemental world subjected to an endless cycle of destruction and creation A compelling antiphonal image of man in his world And so very unlike anything else I have read The poem s mesmerism is reinforced by the poetess practice of almost always repeating the simile This certainly contributes to the work s attractive pulse, which makes it a joy to read aloud The only thing that I found to jar somewhat with the poem s magnificence were some of the contemporary words motorbike , typically that the author included in the text But that may be explained by Oswald s ambition to convey the Iliad s raw energeia as opposed to its generally appreciated nobility I would love to read by Oswald This one I m keeping on my nightstand for a while SARPEDON the son of ZeusCame to this ungreen ungrowing groundCame from his cornfields from his leafy riverFrom his kingdom of paths an...

  7. says:

    Why do we write such exquisitely beautiful poems about death in war We lament that aspect of a culture that conferred glory on death in battle, but Homer is so mesmerizing that we can t escape his allure.I was absolutely captivated by this creative work that echoes the Iliad in the victims names and some of the details of their homelands and deaths, but soars off on its own form and invention Oswald gut punches you time after time with an end stopped line or a wrenching simile But in beautiful, soaring language that celebrates youth and the bereaved as well as the dead My only quibble is that toward the end several of the similes didn t seem connected to the rest of the poem or to Home, but may...

  8. says:

    It is well worth getting the CD of Alice Oswald reading Memorial It is akin to standing on Remembrance Sunday listening to the names of the dead being read aloud These are the ordinary men who were killed during ...

  9. says:

    It is mid November 2011, and just a few days removed from November 11th, the traditional Remembrance Day UK and Veteran s Day US , and somehow it seems highly appropriate that I have just finished reading a new book length poem entitled, Memorial An Excavation of the Iliad, by the British poet, Alice Oswald Oswald s poem deeply affected me in a fashion similar to that that has occurred upon each of my visits to the Vietnam Memorial on the Mall in Washington, D.C Now, let me see if I can explain why.First of all, let me make myself clear, that while war, it seems, is a necessary evil and has been with us since the dawn of Humanity, this post is not about the morality, or immorality, of war What I want to briefly focus on is the human cost, and how that cost is recorded and remembered, i.e., memorialized Many countries have special days that commemorate their war dead, battles won, or wars fought Most countries have physical monuments or memorials too, from the small monuments in village squa...

  10. says:

    Astoundingly evocative retelling perspective shift, really of the Illiad Now I want to read everything she s ever written.

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