Memorial: A Version of Homer's Iliad
This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.
“The most remarkable and affecting book of poetry I encountered this year.”—James Wood, The New Yorker
In this daring new work, the poet Alice Oswald strips away the narrative of the Iliad—the anger of Achilles, the story of Helen—in favor of attending to its atmospheres: the extended similes that bring so much of the natural order into the poem and the corresponding litany of the war-dead, most of whom are little more than names but each of whom lives and dies unforgettably and unforgotten in the copious retrospect of Homer’s glance. The resulting poem is a war memorial and a profoundly responsive work that gives new voice to Homer’s level-voiced version of the world. Through a mix of narrative and musical repetition, the sequence becomes a meditation on the loss of human life.
I was not familiar with Alice Oswald but when I came upon the review for this book in the Guardian I liked the idea because I am a huge fan of Homer's Iliad. And this book is beautifully and skillfully crafted that I keep reading it over and over again. And it makes me want to go back to the pages of the Iliad and locate these characters on the battlefield and learn more about them. What a great concept! Aside from the idea, the story and the characters this book is poetic on a grand scale. It's also a testament to the enduring power of Homer who continues to inspire generations of writers.