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Dart is a very engaging and satisfying read, helped by a narrative flow that is more easily managed in a single poem than across a sequence or set of sequences. She touches on arguments between polluters and conservationists, poachers and bailiffs, commercial fishermen and seal-watchers.

From its burbling beginnings in Cranmere Pool all the way to the sea, Dart is an attempt to give an outline to that disappearing shape, exploring the balance between the river as wild force of nature and biddable resource. Some poetry books contain a number of good poems, or give me something to think about, but Dart is one of the few poetry books that draws me from start to finish. That said it is absolutely enchanting and sublime, I really enjoyed the descriptions of nature and it compounded on my own love of the outdoors.This job title might seem fantastic, but is in fact quite real—the person who is in charge of extracting water and testing it for safe human consumption throughout the watershed. I thought I would spend ten minutes reading a few poems and was surprised to discover 'Dart' was one long form poem spanning 48 pages. From Nobel Laureates Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter to theatre greats Tom Stoppard and Alan Bennett to rising stars Polly Stenham and Florian Zeller, Faber Drama presents the very best theatre has to offer. Alice Oswald's Dart is a fascinating 48-page single poem that acts as both a extended "found poem" blending the voices of the people around the River Dart in Devon, England.

In 2009 she published both A Sleepwalk on the Severn and Weeds and Wildflowers, which won the inaugural Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry, and was shortlisted for the T. People are forever sifting the Dart or trying to harness its power: tin-extractors, millers washing their wool and making dyes, dairy workers using the water to cool their milk, not to mention its ecosystem of "round streamlined creatures born into vanishing". There were tremendous successes on the actor’s parts to get into the spirit of each voice, but it was unfortunate that ultimately a feeling of diversity predominated. Other minor technical and balance issues stilted its flow and undermined the value of the otherwise great idea of layering recorded voices and a watery soundscape with the words onstage. published in 2005, was shortlisted for the Forward Poetry Prize (Best Poetry Collection of the Year).Using these records and voices as a sort of poetic census, she creates a narrative of the river, tracking its life from source to sea. Alice Oswald spent several years talking to the people who frequented the river, before writing their "stories" as a poem, mixing free verse and prose in an amazing piece of literature that thrilled my soul. Her second collection, Dart (2002), combined verse and prose, which tells the story of the River Dart in Devon from a variety of perspectives. I think this was such a great concept for a long-form poem and Oswald really brought the river and its inhabitants for life for me.

An exhausting collection, it's really an oral history in verse with no breaks between voices -- makes for an exhausting and interesting read where the character voices of the river blend into each other. We glimpse history and place and identity all bubbling up and swirling together, reflecting sunlight, moonlight, "wind, wings, roots.This was not helped by how scenes were divided by a momentary black-out rather than gliding into one another. The only real complaint I have here is that I’d have liked to hear more of many of the voices; we only get snapshots of stories, many even cut off mid-sentence just as you get hooked – but I suppose the river flows through fast, and cutting stories off before they’re finished is one of the ways Oswald reflects this. Oswald deftly links these many different strands of life on the river and gives the reader both a profound emotional connection with this place, and creates a universal picture of life and work.

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