Of Passage and Process: Alice Oswald’s Dart

  • Heather H. Yeung
Part of the Geocriticism and Spatial Literary Studies book series (GSLS)


In the poetry of Thomas Kinsella, Kathleen Jamie, and Mimi Khalvati, we have seen poetic space created out of the play of notions of alterity in language and being. Often, also, mediation has been the key to understanding and poetic resolution. In all cases, effective communication of experience lies in the state of dwelling of the I/eye of each poem: it is “both mine and not mine,”1 a part of and also apart from the world, in a space within the open bounds of the mediatory experience. As Kinsella, Jamie, and Khalvati all see the act of poetic creation as a never-ending state of process, for Alice Oswald, the act of poetic creation, and the status of the finished product, is a “working account.”2 It is this sense of self-conscious, affective, and continual experience, which creates and defines its own passage in relation to itself, and finds coherence in the scattered nature of its milieu, that we can see articulated powerfully in Alice Oswald’s river-poem Dart.


Person Pronoun River Model Dream State Multiple Voice Single Voice 
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© Heather H. Yeung 2015

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  • Heather H. Yeung

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