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Dart Paperback – July 8, 2002

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Editorial Reviews


'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

About the Author

Alice Oswald lives in Devon and is married with three children. Dart, her second collection, won the T. S. Eliot Prize in 2002. Her third collection, Woods etc, was a Poetry Book Society Choice and was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection and the T. S. Eliot Prize. A Sleepwalk on the Severn appeared in 2009, as did Weeds and Wild Flowers, her collaboration with the artist Jessica Greenman.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber Poetry; Main edition (July 8, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 057121410X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571214105
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #648,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lost John on November 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I live within a few miles of the Dart, the river that gives its name to Dartmoor, Dartington and Dartmouth, yet to discover Alice Oswald's poetic celebration of this watercourse from source to estuary I had to read the transcript, published in The Hudson Review, of a radio talk by Andrew Motion. The poem won the 2002 T S Eliot Prize shortly after first publication, but otherwise seems to have got off to an unpretentious start in terms of publicity and sales. However, the new (2010) format appears to have got it moving rather better, which can only be a good thing. Besides those who have enjoyed other poems by Alice Oswald, the market for this book should include all literate visitors to Dartmoor and South Devon, those who enjoy the poetry of Ted Hughes (Hughes lived not many miles north and east of the source of the Dart), and the many schools that use Hughes to stimulate imaginative classroom work.

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 river estuary ultimately predominate.
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