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Nobody by Alice Oswald



ISBN: 9781787331969 Category: Tags: ,


‘Alice Oswald is at the height of her powers in…this electrifying new work’ Observer This is a book-length poem – a collage of water-stories taken mostly from the Odyssey – about a minor character abandoned on a stony island. It is not a translation though but a close inspection of the sea that surrounds him. There are several voices in the poem but no proper names although its presiding spirit is Proteus the shape-shifting sea-god. We recognise other mythical characters – Helios Icarus Alcyone Philoctetes Calypso Clytemnestra Orpheus Poseidon Hermes – who drift in and out of the poem surfacing briefly before disappearing. Reading Nobody is like watching the ocean: a destabilising experience that becomes mesmeric almost hallucinatory as we slip our earthly moorings and follow the circling shoal of sea voices into a mesh of sound and light and water – fluid abstract and moving with the wash of waves. As with all of Alice Oswald’s work this is poetry that is made for the human voice but this poem takes on the qualities of another element: dense muscular and liquid. one person has the character of dust another has an arrow for a soul but their sto ries all end somewhere in the sea ‘An invigorating book-length poem’ Sara Wheeler

Additional information

Weight 107 g
Dimensions 198 × 131 × 7 mm


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