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  • Handwriting
  • Written by Michael Ondaatje
  • Format: Trade Paperback | ISBN: 9780375705410
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  • Handwriting
  • Written by Michael Ondaatje
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780307948823
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Handwriting

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Poems

Written by Michael OndaatjeAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Michael Ondaatje

eBook

List Price: $11.99

eBook

On Sale: July 27, 2011
Pages: | ISBN: 978-0-307-94882-3
Published by : Vintage Knopf
Handwriting Cover

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ABOUT THE BOOK ABOUT THE BOOK
ABOUT THE AUTHOR ABOUT THE AUTHOR
PRAISE PRAISE
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poetry (71) canadian (10) ondaatje (6) canada (4) sri lanka (4)
poetry (71) canadian (10) ondaatje (6) canada (4) sri lanka (4)
Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis

"Tumultuous, vibrant, tragic and over too soon." --Newsday

Handwriting is Michael Ondaatje's first new book of poetry since The Cinnamon Peeler. The exquisite poems collected here draw on history, mythology, landscape, and personal memories to weave a rich tapestry of images that reveal the longing for--and expose the anguish over--lost loves, homes, and language, as the poet contemplates scents and gestures and evokes a time when "handwriting occurred on waves, / on leaves, the scripts of smoke" and remembers a woman's "laughter with its / intake of breath. Uhh huh."

Crafted with lyrical delicacy and seductive power, Handwriting reminds us of Michael Ondaatje's stature as one of the finest poets writing today.

Excerpt

In the dry lands

every few miles, moving north,
another roadside Ganesh

Straw figures
on bamboo scaffolds
to advertise a family
of stilt-walkers

Men twenty feet high
walking over fields
crossing the thin road
with their minimal arms
and "lying legs"

A dance of tall men
with the movement of prehistoric birds
in practice before they alight

So men become gods
in the small village
of Ilukwewa

Ganesh in pink,
                         in yellow,
in elephant darkness
His simplest shrine
a drawing of him

lime chalk
on a grey slate

All this glory
preparing us for Anuradhapura

its night faith

A city with the lap
and spell of a river

Families below trees
around the heart of a fire

tributaries
from the small villages
of the dry zone

Circling the dagoba
in a clockwise hum and chant,
bowls of lit coal
above their heads

whispering bare feet

Our flutter and drift

in the tow of this river
Michael Ondaatje

About Michael Ondaatje

Michael Ondaatje - Handwriting

Photo © Linda Spalding

Michael Ondaatje is the author of five previous novels, a memoir, a nonfiction book on film, and several books of poetry. The English Patient won the Booker Prize; Anil’s Ghost won the Irish Times International Fiction Prize, the Giller Prize, and the Prix Médicis. Born in Sri Lanka, Michael Ondaatje now lives in Toronto.

Praise

Praise

"Richly sensual images.... [Ondaatje] contracts the narrative to a few concrete images, giving his verse a mysterious reticence." --The New York Times Book Review

"Poems that are virtual hybrids of the contemporary and the ancient." --Boston Book Review

"Smooth poetic lines.... Another finely polished Ondaatje gem." -- Time Out-New York

"Extremely beautiful." --Robert Hass, The Washington Post

  • Handwriting by Michael Ondaatje
  • March 14, 2000
  • Poetry - Canadian; Poetry
  • Vintage
  • $14.00
  • 9780375705410

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