Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Interview with the Wind, a poem by Alice Oswald.

Post 646 - Alice Oswald was born in 1966. She read Classics at New CollegeOxford, has worked as a gardener at Chelsea Physic Garden, and today lives with her husband, the playwright Peter Oswald (also a trained classicist), and her three children in Devon. In 1994, she was the recipient of an Eric Gregory Award. Her debut collection, The Thing in the Gap-Stone Stile, won the 1996 Forward Best First Collection prize and her second collection, Dart, won the 2002 TS Eliot prize. In 2004, Oswald was named as one of the Poetry Book Society's Next Generation poets. Her collection Woods etc., published in 2005, was shortlisted for the Forward Poetry Prize (Best Poetry Collection of the Year). In 2009 she published both A sleepwalk on the Severn and Weeds and Wildflowers, which won the inaugural Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry, and was shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize. In October 2011, Oswald published her 6th collection, Memorial.

Interview with the Wind by Alice Oswald.

Once the Wind existed as a person

Carrying its unguarded inner mouth wide open . . .
And I notice a kind of girlish nervousness

Sensitive to any tiny shock, tell me,
When did it lose its mind?
I love the kind of sounds it carries.
I think of the Wind as the Earth's voice muscle,
Very twisted and springy, but is it tired?
What happens to bells for example
Being lifted over hills?
And prayers?

There are millions of grass-nibs trying their names on the air.
There are phrases not fully expressed, shaking the bars of the trees.
Never any conclusion. Every decision being taken back again into movement.

And on a long road on a hot day,
When the Wind gets under the Wind

And blows up a mist of dust,
Obviously it speaks in verse, obviously

It inhales for a while and then describes by means of breath

Some kind of grief, what is it?

A kind of kiss. A coldness.
And yet not uptight, not afraid to fondle.
Is it blind is it some kind of blindness

The way it breezes at Dusk

And goes on and on turning over and over

More and more leaves in the darkness?

A kind of huge, hushed up,
Inexhaustible, millions of years old sister.
Would she describe herself, when running over grass for example,
Would she describe herself as a light breeze?
Or is she serious?

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