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About Alice Oswald

Name = Alice Oswald

Profession = Poet

Read more about Alice Oswald on Wikipedia

Quotes By Alice Oswald

Following are some Alice Oswald quotes which we have in our database of Quotes of Alice Oswald.

It's a relief to hear the rain. It's the sound of billions of drops, all equal, all equally committed to falling, like a sudden outbreak of democracy. Water, when it hits the ground, instantly becomes a puddle or rivulet or flood.

Alice Oswald

If you bend a branch until it's horizontal, the sap will slow to a stopping point: a comma or colon, made of leaves grown into one another and over one another and hardened. Out of this pause comes a flower, which unfolds itself in spirals, as if the

Alice Oswald

When the wind blows through a wood, its mass is cut and closed by every leaf, forming a train of jittery vortices in the air.

Alice Oswald

I think it's often assumed that the role of poetry is to comfort, but for me, poetry is the great unsettler. It questions the established order of the mind. It is radical, by which I don't mean that it is either leftwing or rightwing, but that i

Alice Oswald

Webs are made mostly of spaces. They break easily. They barely exist. They belong to the category of half-things: mist, smoke, shrouds, ghosts, membranes, retinas or rags; and they quickly fill up with un-things: old legs and wings and heads and hollow ab

Alice Oswald

That is the best instruction you could ever give a poet: whether you're examining a bad line in a poem or a bad motive for action, keep well your repining - meaning, don't ignore the honest muttering in your head.

Alice Oswald

I hate not managing to speak clearly. I really hate it. I get a feeling of claustrophobia - like I'm locked in my own head - if what I've said hasn't reached someone.

Alice Oswald

The sea has this contradictory quality, that the more you see of it, the more it overwhelms the eye and disappears in its own brightness. Like a flame, whose meaning is light but whose centre is dark, it demands to be undefined.

Alice Oswald

A dead tree, cut into planks and read from one end to the other, is a kind of line graph, with dates down one side and height along the other, as if trees, like mathematicians, had found a way of turning time into form.

Alice Oswald

Spring, when the earth tilts closer to the sun, runs a strict timetable of flowers.

Alice Oswald

One night, I lay awake for hours, just terrified. When the dawn finally came up - the comfortable blue sky, the familiar world returning - I could think of no other way to express my relief than through poetry. I made a decision there and then that it was

Alice Oswald

If you put a real leaf and a silk leaf side by side, you'll see something of the difference between Homer's poetry and anyone else's. There seem to be real leaves still alive in the 'Iliad,' real animals, real people, real light a

Alice Oswald

I believe the poet shouldn't be in the poem at all except as a lens or as ears.

Alice Oswald

At each moment, a poem might grow into a totally different shape. It is not so much like working in a garden. It is more as if you remade the garden every day.

Alice Oswald

I much preferred Latin to Greek. I loved the language being such a pattern that you could not shift a word without the whole sentence falling to pieces.

Alice Oswald

At eight, I made a commitment to poetry. Until then, I thought I'd be a policeman. But I went a whole night without sleeping, and the next day the world had changed. It needed a different language.

Alice Oswald

I never meant to be a full-time poet: I started out as a gardener, an ideal job for a poet because your head is left free.

Alice Oswald

To be a poet is as serious, long-term and natural as the effort to be the best human you can be. To express something well is not a question of having a top-class education and understanding poetic forms: rather, it's a question of paying attention.

Alice Oswald

I like Patti Smith's lyrics, and sometimes think I could be influenced by them. But she has a kind of cool that's beyond me.

Alice Oswald

I try not to invent; I try simply to translate the weird language of the natural world. And I'm not into absolute ownership of things.

Alice Oswald

Even when writing your own poems, you need to talk to people; you need to magpie around, getting words and things. I'm very against the celebrity culture that wants to say: 'this is a genius, this is one person who has done something brilliant.&

Alice Oswald

I've always felt, with 'The Iliad,' a real frustration that it's read wrong. That it's turned into this public school poem, which I don't think it is. That glamorising of war, and white-limbed, flowing-haired Greek heroes - i

Alice Oswald

It's a question of trying to take down by dictation what's already there. I'm not making something, I'm trying to hear it.

Alice Oswald

People are so used to reading novels now, they just read a poem straight through to get the meaning. And that's something totally different from the slow way you read something if it's a tune; which to me a poem has to be.

Alice Oswald

I really think there are spirits in a place that you have to accommodate.

Alice Oswald

There's a whole range of words that people use about landscape. Pastoral? Idyll? I can't stand them.

Alice Oswald

I have this exercise where I force myself to look out from the flower's point of view at these great walloping humans coming down the path, and try, just try and feel it from their point of view because it's a different world to them, a fascinat

Alice Oswald

There's a lot of rage in my head. I like the friction that means there is nothing relaxing about writing a poem. I can't afford to relax in any area of life. You have to keep your senses awake to all the complacency that kicks in - particularly

Alice Oswald

I think it is the easiest mentality for a human being to be either colonized or to colonize. The structure of either the slave or the master seems to be the simplest and the most relaxing one to slip into. Either you are a slave, and you don't have t

Alice Oswald

A living tree is a changing, sleeve shape, a wet, thin, bright green creature that survives in the thin layer between heartwood and bark. It stands waiting for light, which it catches in the close-woven sieves of its leaves.

Alice Oswald

Most spiders eat and remake their webs every night.

Alice Oswald

Topsoil is a place of digestion. It sucks and chews things into smaller pieces. When it's hungry, it turns grey and stony; when it's thirsty, it opens thousands of cracked lips. Subsoil is more skeletal: it doesn't digest.

Alice Oswald

It's the stickiness of earth that makes it problematic - the way it stains your straps and ingrains your hands so you can't quite tell where you start and stop.

Alice Oswald

Wind ought to be a verb or an adverb. It isn't really anything. It's a manner of movement of warmth and cold: a kind of information system of the air.

Alice Oswald

When I was 16, I was taught by a wonderful teacher who let me ignore the Greek syllabus and just read Homer.

Alice Oswald

Stripped of its plot, the 'Iliad' is a scattering of names and biographies of ordinary soldiers: men who trip over their shields, lose their courage or miss their wives. In addition to these, there is a cast of anonymous people: the farmers, wal

Alice Oswald

One of the rules of Greek lament poetry is that it mustn't mention the dead by name in case of invoking a ghost. Maybe the 'Iliad,' crowded with names, is more than a poem. Maybe it's a dangerous piece of the brightness of both this wo

Alice Oswald

There are times when the voice of repining is completely drowned out by various louder voices: the voice of government, the voice of taste, the voice of celebrity, the voice of the real world, the voice of fear and force, the voice of gossip.

Alice Oswald