Handwriting

Handwriting

by Michael Ondaatje

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Overview

Handwriting by Michael Ondaatje

"Tumultuous, vibrant, tragic and over too soon." --Newsday

Handwriting is Michael Ondaatje's first new book of poetry since The Cinnamon Peeler. The exquisite poems collected here draw on history, mythology, landscape, and personal memories to weave a rich tapestry of images that reveal the longing for--and expose the anguish over--lost loves, homes, and language, as the poet contemplates scents and gestures and evokes a time when "handwriting occurred on waves, / on leaves, the scripts of smoke" and remembers a woman's "laughter with its / intake of breath. Uhh huh."

Crafted with lyrical delicacy and seductive power, Handwriting reminds us of Michael Ondaatje's stature as one of the finest poets writing today.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307948823
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/27/2011
Series: Vintage International
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 96
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Michael Ondaatje was born in Sri Lanka and moved to Canada in 1962. He lives in Toronto.

Michael Ondaatje's The Cinnamon Peeler, The English Patient, In the Skin of a Lion, Running in the Family, Coming through Slaughter, and The Collected Works of Billy the Kid are available in Vintage paperback.


From the Hardcover edition.

Read an Excerpt

In the dry lands

every few miles, moving north,
another roadside Ganesh

Straw figures
on bamboo scaffolds
to advertise a family
of stilt-walkers

Men twenty feet high
walking over fields
crossing the thin road
with their minimal arms
and "lying legs"

A dance of tall men
with the movement of prehistoric birds
in practice before they alight

So men become gods
in the small village
of Ilukwewa

Ganesh in pink,
                         in yellow,
in elephant darkness
His simplest shrine
a drawing of him

lime chalk
on a grey slate

All this glory
preparing us for Anuradhapura

its night faith

A city with the lap
and spell of a river

Families below trees
around the heart of a fire

tributaries
from the small villages
of the dry zone

Circling the dagoba
in a clockwise hum and chant,
bowls of lit coal
above their heads

whispering bare feet

Our flutter and drift

in the tow of this river


From the Hardcover edition.

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