The Long and Short: Alice Oswald’s ‘Dart’ and ‘Memorial’

Mark Ford and Seamus Perry

The eleventh episode of the Long and Short brings us to the present day and the distant past, as we turn to two multivocal, monumental poems by Alice Oswald. The dazzlingly polyphonic Dart (2002) celebrates the voices of the river Dart, and the people, animals and supernatural forces entwined with it. Memorial (2011) translates and transfigures the Iliad, stripping back the narrative to reveal the epic’s ‘bright unbearable reality’. Mark and Seamus explore the thematic throughlines in Oswald’s poetry, unpicking allusions and influences at play in these works.

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