Tag Archives: Alice Oswald

Making poetry relevant . . the individual subjective experience

Ultimately, the key to the survival of any form of poetry is whether its practitioners can continue to make it relevant as patterns of human thought change. We cannot now imagine that anyone would seriously write an epic about a predatory monster and a hero-king; we do not live in that world anymore. We can, however, imagine an epic about the pain a living, thinking creature experiences when it is called a monster. Privileging the individual’s subjective experience is typical of contemporary thought, in the realms of philosophy and politics as well as in literature. The poets who can grasp and mold the currents of their time into shapes that gesture to the past as well as fully embodying the present are the poets who will be timeless. [Anne] Carson and [Alice] Oswald, for my money, are foremost among them. Eleanor Franzen (more here)

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I’m not into absolute ownership of things. Homer himself is a collection of poets, one of many. Even when writing your own poems, you need to talk to people, you need to magpie around, getting words and things. I’m very against the celebrity culture that wants to say: this is a genius, this is one person who has done something brilliant. There are always a hundred people in the background who have helped to make it.
Alice Oswald British poet

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