Handwriting

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M&S, 1998 - Sri Lanka - 78 pages
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Handwriting is a collection of exquisitely crafted poems of delicacy and power - poems about love, landscape, and the sweep of history set in the poet's first home, Sri Lanka.
The falling away of culture is juxtaposed with an individual's sense of loss, grief, and remembrance, as Ondaatje weaves a rich tapestry of images - the unburial of stone Buddhas, a family of stilt-walkers crossing a field, the pattern of teeth marks on skin drawn by a monk from memory.
And, like the poets who wrote their stories on rock and leaf/to celebrate the work of the day, /the shadow pleasures of the night, in these poems Ondaatje writes of desire and longing, the curve of a bridge against a woman's foot, the figure of a man walking through a rainstorm to a tryst.
Handwriting is a poetic achievement by a writer at the height of his creative powers. In it, we are reminded once again of Michael Ondaatje's unique artistry with language and of his stature as one of the finest poets writing today.

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Handwriting: poems

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Ondaatje is undoubtedly best known for his novel, The English Patient, on which the award-winning film was based. Good as that novel was, it is still a pity that more people havent read his poetry ... Read full review

Contents

A Gentleman Compares His Virtue
3
To Anuradhapura
17
Flight
47
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

Michael Ondaatje was born in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) on September 12, 1943. He moved to Canada in 1962 and became a Canadian citizen. He received a B.A. from the University of Toronto and a M.A. from Queen's University, Kingston, and taught English at York University. He has written several volumes of poetry, novels, and other works including There's a Trick with a Knife I'm Learning to Do, The Dainty Monsters, Rat Jelly, Coming through Slaughter, Running in the Family, In the Skin of a Lion, Anil's Ghost, and The Cat's Table. Ondaatje has won numerous awards including the Canadian Governor General's Award in 1971 for The Collected Works of Billy the Kid and the Booker Prize in Fiction for The English Patient, which was adapted into a film in 1996.

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