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March 03 , 2011

Memorial: A Version of Homer's Iliad


“The most remarkable and affecting book of poetry I encountered this year.”—James Wood, The New Yorker

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A Journey with Two Maps: Becoming a Woman Poet

“Boland offers encouragement to women poets of the future. . . . Her vivid imagery will beguile many.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review These inspiring essays from the celebrated poet Eavan Boland are both critical and deeply personal, revealing the adventure, passion, and struggle of becoming a woman poet. In this thematic sequel to her…

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.

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