Winner of the Costa Poetry Award • Shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Award and the Forward Prize
“These lyrics…illustrate poetry’s unique ability to shock readers into a renewed awareness of the world.” —Washington Post
Falling Awake, winner of the Costa Award for Poetry, “give[s] us the sensation of living alongside the natural world, of being a spectator to the changes that mark our mortality” (Dan Chiasson, The New Yorker). Falling Awake expands on the imagery of fallen soldiers from Homer’s Iliad portrayed in her previous volume, Memorial—defining life as a slowly falling weight, where beings fight against their inevitable end. Oswald reimagines classical figures such as Orpheus and Tithonus alive in an English landscape together with shadows, flies, villagers, dew, crickets—all characterized in tension between the weight of death and their own willpower.
let me shuffle forward
and tell you the two minute life of rain
starting right now
lips open and lidless cold all-seeing gaze