We never understood why talking about the weather seemed trite — it affects us too greatly. We’re never without it — whether in metaphor (here comes that fellow with the cloud over his head) or simple daily salutation (may the wind be at your back). A proper and exalting celebration of the sun, the rain, the clouds and the rumbles of thunder deep into the night, put your arms up like Prospero in Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Call on the sky to tumble down on us. Read this book. There’s a storm coming.
In three hundred varied entries, Gigantic Cinema narrates the weather of a single capricious day, from dawn through rain, volcanic ash, nuclear dust, snow, light, fog, noon, eclipse, hurricane, flood, dusk, night, and back to dawn again. It includes reactions both formal and fleeting—weather rhymes, journals and jottings, diaries and letters—to the imaginary and actual drama unfolding above our heads.
Ranging from Homer’s winds and Ovid’s flood to Frank O’Hara’s sun, Pliny’s reportage on the eruption of Vesuvius to Elizabeth Bishop’s “Song for a Rainy Season,” Gigantic Cinema offers an expansive collection of writing inspired by the commotion of the elements. Rather than drawing attention to authors and titles, entries appear as a medley of voices; as editors Alice Oswald and Paul Keegan write in their stunning introduction, the excerpts ask to be read “with no hat, no coat, no preconceptions, encountering each voice abruptly, as an exclamation brought on by the weather.” Assembling a chorus of responses (ancient and modern, East and West) to air’s manifold appearances, Gigantic Cinema offers a new perspective on the oldest conversation of all.
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|Publisher:||Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Alice Oswald is the author of eight books of poetry, including Memorial and Falling Awake, winner of the Costa Poetry Award and Griffin Poetry Prize. Elected as the University of Oxford Professor of Poetry in 2019, she lives in Bristol, United Kingdom.