Alice Oswald 3

June 24, 2013

Alice Oswald

As one of my favourite poets, Alice Oswald, has just won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, for the third book of poetry, Woods etc, it seems right to include a poem from that collection here.
Alice Oswald is the real thing a true poet of great power and capacity. She writes about the natural world and our relationship to it, reminding us that there is such a thing as a world we didnt make, and one that we badly need, for sanitys sake.

She is a very clever writer, but she wears it lightly.

This poem, written over Londons Westminster Bridge, is a response, like part of a conversation, to Willam Wordsworths really marvellous, Ode on Westminster Bridge you know the one and if not, find it and read it.
Anyway, heres Alice

Another Westminster Bridge

go and glimpse the lovely inattentive water
discarding the gaze of many a bored street walker

where the weather trespasses into strip-lit offices
through tiny windows into tiny thoughts and authorities

and the soft beseeching tapping of typewriters

take hold of a breath-width instant, stare
at water which is already elsewhere
in a scrapwork of flashes and glittery flutters
and regular waves of apparently motionless motion

under the teetering structures of administration

where a million shut-away eyes glance once
restlessly at the rivers ruts and glints

count five, then wander swiftly
away over the stone wing-bone of the city.