- Paperback: 64 pages
- Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (8 July 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 057121410X
- ISBN-13: 978-0571214105
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 0.5 x 20 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Dart Paperback – 8 Jul 2002
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'The Thing in the Gap-Stone Stile seductively commands delighted attention. In an age where "nature" poetry and spirituality are unfashionable, it is always exciting when someone does the job with panache and without being boring.' Guardian
Dart by Alice Oswald - winner of the T. S. Eliot Prize in 2012 - is a mesmerizing and stunningly original book, a poetic journey along the river Dart, the voice of the river interwoven with the voices of the people who live and work along its course.See all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
We begin with an "Old man seeking and finding a difficulty." A walker at Cranmere Pool, the source of the Dart. Legends haunt the river "I know you,/Jan Coo. A wind on a deep pool." The voices of a chambermaid, a fisherman, a forester, a worker from the Woollen Mills; then John Edmunds washed away in 1840:
I am only as wide
as a word's aperture
is followed by nearly a page of silence that is broken by the shouts and shapes of swimmers, whose arms and legs make letters ... S ... W ... M. Then the water extractor reminds us that "the real work of the river" is done by the "polyelectrolyte and settlementation and twizzling scum". It's left to `a dreamer' to bring romance and nature back to the river:
I saw a sheet of seagulls suddenly
flap and lift with a loud clap and up
into the pain of flying, cry and croup
and crowd the light as if in rivalry
to peck the moon-bone empty
The dairy worker speaks of "processing, separating, blending ... pathogens and spoilage"; the sewage worker's "stink-mass of loopaper" is removed from "a brown lagoon" over which he is "thinking illicit sneaking thoughts".Read more ›
This volume consists of a single poem of alternating verse and prose, and at one point a 25 line silence. Through the voices of a succession of people who live, work, or take recreation on, in or in proximity to the river - even drown in it - plus the voice of the river itself, we follow its 45 mile progress from moor to sea. Some of the less expected points of call are a small hotel, a woollen mill, a milk factory and a sewage works. All are memorable in their way, and we learn much from the voices encountered there, but the open moorland, the steeply descending section of the river inaccessible even to walkers, and the nominally faceless, but deep and timeless expanses of the estuary ultimately predominate.Read more ›
The language is musical and evocative and makes you long to explore some of the places it describes (yes even at five in the morning with the moon shrouded in mist).
The whole book is one long piece, written in such an original and descriptive format, you feel a complete empathy with the river itself. I hear she turned down the post of Poet Laureate, an offer that she well deserved. Total respect!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Amazing, I love Alice Oswald and the way she writes.
This poem is just beautiful, you are transported on a journey down the river Dart meeting many different characters... Read more
I am biased as so much of my early life was lived in Totnes on the Dart and this lovely flowing poem resonates with so many life experiences, from discovering sundews on the moor... Read morePublished 9 months ago by patricia hughes
A beautiful love song to the beautiful River Dart, capturing all the variety along its banks and bringing it to literary life. A fantastic exploration in poem form.Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book was for my sister as a present. She was very happy with it.Published 15 months ago by Vampirewerewolfzombielover
A lovely book to keep close at hand and dip into. Oswald is so good on place and atmosphere.Published 23 months ago by MRS M M SIMPSON