Alice Oswald: Interview With Water

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“It is a wonderful gift to be able to swim in rivers, especially on bright, clear days like these. You step into an inverted version of the world,” says poet Alice Oswald about the connection between water and grief in this 2020 virtual lecture for the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities. “The water fits around you like a velvet suit, and you float along seemingly decapitated by reflections.”

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A Short Story of Falling

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“What I love about water is that it spends its whole time falling,” begins Alice Oswald as she introduces her poem “A Short Story of Falling” from her 2017 Griffin Poetry Prize–winning collection, Falling Awake (Jonathan Cape, 2016). “It’s always, apparently, trying to find the lowest place possible and when it finds the lowest place possible, it lies there wide awake.”

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