By Michael Ondaatje
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780375705410, 96pp.)
Publication Date: March 14, 2000
Categories: American - General
"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.
Michael Ondaatje is the author of three previous novels, a memoir and eleven books of poetry. His novel The English Patient won the Booker Prize. Born in Sri Lanka, he moved to Canada in 1962 and now lives in Toronto.
"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