Book: The Thing in the Gap-Stone Stile

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The Thing in the Gap-Stone Stile

Author: Alice Oswald
Publisher: Oxford University Press

This is Alice Oswald’s first book of poems. More confident and achieved than many first collections, it shows her writing in an already distinct voice. The poems are intensely musical: she recites them from memory. Influenced by the rhythms of Hopkins, they speak passionately of nature and love. They have a religious sense of mystery, and try to express the intangible in marvellously vivid language. A long poem, ‘The Wise Men of Gotham’, which makes up the second part of the book, is, by contrast, a version of the folk-legend about the three men who went to sea in a boat in an attempt to catch the moon in the net.

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