Memorial: A Version of Homer's Iliad

Memorial: A Version of Homer's Iliad

by Alice Oswald
     
 

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“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… See more details below

Overview

“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.

Editorial Reviews

Observer
“Remembering on a grand scale . . . with a freshness to match Homer’s own—as if each soldier had died on the day of writing.”
New York Times Book Review
“Luminous. . . . [Oswald] has made a poem that blooms out of slaughter.”
New York Daily News
“Graceful and elegiac.”
NPR
“Audacious, powerful and beautiful.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer
“One of the best books of poetry I’ve read in years.”
The New York Times Book Review
The life of the Iliad has vanished here—life often petty, grumpy, ridiculous, but always aware of mortality. Yet reducing the brute struggle of epic to bottom-column obits, focusing on the minor kings and hapless grunts, underlines the shocking waste of these deaths. Oswald's war memorial has taken the forgotten names and chiseled them in marble. She has made a poem that blooms out of slaughter.
—William Logan

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393347272
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
11/18/2013
Pages:
112
Sales rank:
354,174
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.40(d)

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