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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A small voice in the semi-dark, 17 Nov 2013
This review is from: Memorial (Paperback)
I've heard Alice Oswalk recite this twice now. It is magical. If she is performing it anywhere near you then go and hear it. It exists, I believe, as an audio book. It also exists as a standard book. I have now bought a copy so that I can return to the half-remembered names of the dead who fell at the siege of Troy and how they died, and repeated lines of simile which transform a casualty list into a work of art.

She performs in a voice little above a whisper (although that is amplified, so you'll be fine if you're at the back), standing at a lectern on a bare, unlit stage. It really is an experience. Be warned: the performance takes an hour and a half. You will not want to wriggle, cough or clap during that time so make sure you are comfortable before she starts!

Enjoy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine Memorial, 22 Oct 2013
This review is from: Memorial (Paperback)
Last night I had the great privilege of seeing and hearing Alice Oswald perform her epic poem - it was breathtaking!

Deeply moving, intense and mesmerizing, her words silenced us all in the audience into our own thoughts.

I was taken back to my teens when I studied The Iliad at school in Latin lessons. In my own modest way, I enjoyed the translation then, the stories of the heroes at the fall of Troy, and now 50 years later this version brought the reality of war, any war, to the fore of universal consciousness.

Her poetic style, imagery and use of metaphor are extraordinary. She uses repeated lines that ease one, briefly, from the relentless death toll. The names of those who died, and how they met death, are far from the heroes of myth and legend. Ordinary men's names, ordinary men's lives, the poet deftly draws the stark reality of humanity destroying itself on the fields of Ilium, Afghanistan or Syria.

If you love epic poems, if you love vivid imagery and are willing to be profoundly moved by the poet's craft, this is an essential for you - better still, if you can see Alice Oswald perform it, you will be embraced by the spirit of Homer's original, taken to new dimensions, reach greater depths of understanding, and then some!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, rich, bleak, profound, 16 April 2013
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This review is from: Memorial (Paperback)
Two of the things which most impress the majority of modern readers of the Iliad are the death scenes given to the most minor of the fighting men and the splendid similes.

Isolating just those two elements, casting them into well-chosen English verse and turning them into a "memorial" in the manner of a Homeric catalogue, Alice Oswald has created something really very powerful. It is almost like the Iliad has been left in a slow-cooker until it has reduced down to a very rich Iliad sauce.
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5.0 out of 5 stars needless waste of life that is war, 2 July 2014
This review is from: Memorial (Paperback)
A poem about the ageless, relentless , needless waste of life that is war. I am no classicist. There is something so haunting about this poem. The similes are breathtaking. Read it or hear it on poetry archive
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5.0 out of 5 stars a true and transcendent understanding of loss, 22 April 2014
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This review is from: Memorial (Paperback)
War - and the pity of war. The tragedy of loss continues through geological time. The music and metaphor of the poetry links us to each other and to the natural world as we remember the heroes who were torn by their dreams of glory from life and those who loved them. The earth holds their story when their comrades are long gone.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A unique interpretation of aspects of Homer's Illiad, 12 April 2014
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This review is from: Memorial (Paperback)
Alice Oswald takes the lesser known/unknown characters of Homer's Illiad and creates the Homeric pathos of war and death around their fates and elevates to the heights of heroes.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What the Illiad is really about, 17 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Memorial (Paperback)
This long poem is a response to Homer's Illiad which makes clear that any war poem is really a death poem. It reveals The Illiad as a poem which memorializes all the fallen in that long war at Troy and demonstrates that The Illiad was never a poem which glorified war, whatever generation of classics teachers have said.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars new but faithful, 10 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Memorial (Paperback)
Loving the Iliad I find Alice Oswald's book in the tradition and adding to...never taking away...from the epic poem classic
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Memorial
Memorial by Alice Oswald (Paperback - 4 Oct 2012)
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