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Title: ‘My voice being water’ : imaginative transfiguration in Alice Oswald’s ‘Falling awake’
Authors: Micallef, Luke
Keywords: Oswald, Alice, 1966-. Falling awake -- Criticism and interpretation
Mythology, Greek, in literature
English poetry -- 21st century
Issue Date: 2018
Citation: Micallef, L. (2018). ‘My voice being water’: imaginative transfiguration in Alice Oswald’s ‘Falling awake’ (Bachelor's dissertation).
Abstract: Alice Oswald’s latest poetry collection, Falling Awake (2016), is the culmination of themes she has explored in her past work. The water mythology of Dart (2002) continues to evolve together with the more recent appropriation of myth and classical Greek epic of Memorial (2011), to create an exploration of the overarching ‘falling awake’ trope, the experience of the process of dying and after-death. This dissertation (the title of which takes itself from one of the more important poems in the collection, ‘Severed Head Floating Downriver’) will focus on readings of the collection’s two sections, the first being made up of twenty-two individual poems, of which only those that significantly add to the collection’s themes will be discussed, and the second being the extended poem ‘Tithonus: 46 Minutes in the Life of the Dawn’ (and the accompanying ‘And so he goes on’ poem), which will be organised according to its notable timestamps. Oswald’s reliance on typography and type-setting is also original, certainly more radically formal than her earlier work. The relevance of the collection’s paratext shall also be brought into the discussion, primarily in relation to the front cover’s falling figure, where it shall be argued that the figure acts as a template for the other human and non-human characters that are in the process of experiencing ‘falling awake’. Overall, this is an appropriate time to analyse Falling Awake in terms of Oswald’s growing importance in contemporary British poetry, following recent news that she has been made BBC Radio 4’s new Poet-in-Residence. The concluding chapter shall bring together critical work referring to Alice Oswald, both relating to Falling Awake and her earlier work, and her relevance in the area of contemporary British poetry. Difficulties in paraphrasing have been noted, so that extensive embedded quotations from the collection were found to be preferable for a proper appreciation.
Description: B.A.(HONS)ENGLISH
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2018
Dissertations - FacArtEng - 2018

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