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The Thing in the Gap-stone Stile by Alice…

The Thing in the Gap-stone Stile

by Alice Oswald

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I just hit it off with this collection, partly because the poet writes about two activities I share (gardening and cycling), partly because she conjures up images of the natural environment that chime with my own responses. (I warm to poems about stones and wet leaves, whoever's they are: Peter Levi, R. S. Thomas, Kathleen Raine.) The lines that first captivated me are the culmination of Bike Ride on a Roman Road, which beautifully evokes the physical and mental exhaustion of a long cycle ride: "This is the road itself | riding a bone bicycle through my head". MB 19-vi-2007 ( )
  MyopicBookworm | Jun 19, 2007 |
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Pruning in Frost

Last night, without a sound,

a ghost of a world lay down on a world,

trees like dream-wrecks

coralled with increments of frost.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0192825135, Paperback)

Alice Oswald's first book of poems, The Thing in the Gap-stone Stile is more confident and achieved than many first collections. Previously published in Anvil New Poets 2, a selection chosen by Carol Ann Duffy, and winner of the 1994 Eric Gregory Award, Oswald already clearly demonstrates a distinct voice. The poems here are extraordinarily beautiful: intensely musical, strewn with emotion, and full of energy and warmth. Influenced by Gerard Manley Hopkins and George Herbert, they speak passionately of nature and love. They have a religious sense of mystery, and try to express the intangible in marvellously vivid language. The second part of the book features an entertaining long poem titled The Men of Gotham, a comical folk-legend about the three men who went to sea to try to catch the moon in a net. Taken together, this is a wonderful first collection by an exceptionally talented young poet.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:23 -0400)

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