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: poemsUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
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
A Gentleman Compares His Virtue
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ANTHOLOGIES Anuradhapura Bangles became black lake blossom blue body bones Braids breath bronze Buddha buried burning cadju Calligraphy calling bells clouds Colombo Compares His Virtue cursive script dagoba darkness disappears diving a hundred dry zone dusk enemy enter the horizontal eyes faith falcon feet fever flamboyant movement flower forest monasteries Gentleman Compares gesture hair HANDWRITING heart heat hide hold horizontal door jungle Kanakara Kataragama king kisses Last Ink leap leave Lionel Wendt lost lotus stalk Medieval Coast monks monsoon moon mouth night Nine Sentiments Ola leaf painting Palanquins parampara path Piece of Jade plum poem poet Polonnaruwa prawn Red Cliff river rock rope Rosalin sacred saffron Sanskrit Senake shadow sleeping Sloka someone soul sounds Sri Lanka Stilt-walkers stone story sunless forest temple Tharu piri Tightrope-walkers trees uncaught village of soothsayers walk water buffalo water garden Weizhem woman women woodpecker word Zou Fulei