“Various long midwinter Glooms. / Various Solitary and Terrible Stars”: Alice Oswald’s “Various Portents”

AliceOswald_VariousPortentsI’m partial to poems that are lists; it’s always impressive when a poet can give an impression of action, or set a mood, simply by making a list of items.

Alice Oswald is a poet I know nothing about, but a quick look at her biography at The Poetry Foundation intrigued me; I’m now itching to read Memorial, her treatment of the Iliad, and Dart, a book that’s based on her research into the history of the community around a river in Devon, England.

“Various Portents” is subtly ominous and a bit wintry; it made me think of Game of Thrones (though no, I still haven’t read the book). What do you think of the poem?

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