Alice Oswald, Radio 4's Poet in Residence, discusses her collection Falling Awake which won the Costa Poetry Prize 2016.
Falling Awake explores two of Alice Oswald’s recurring preoccupations - with the natural world, and with the myths of more ancient civilizations. Alice studied Classics at university and on graduation became a gardener. Homer, she says, made her a gardener because in the ancient world, the archaic poets create continuity between human beings and our surroundings.
The poems in Falling Awake move easily from the observation of the falling rain, or the stealthy tread of a fox through a darkened garden, to the sight of the head of Orpheus floating away on the River Hebron after he's been killed, with his voice still singing as it goes. And, then finally, to Tithonus, a forty-six minute poem written for performance which is a gripping evocation of dawn - again from an idea bequeathed by classical mythology. The poem takes us, as it did one summer as Alice observed the dawn, from the moment when the sun is six degrees below the horizon to the breaking of light.
Presented by James Naughtie with readers from the charity Poet in the City asking the questions.
Presenter : James Naughtie
Producer : Dymphna Flynn
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