In Memorial, her unforgettable transformation of the Iliad, Alice Oswald breathed new life into myth. In Nobody, she returns to Homer, this time fixing her gaze on a minor character in the Odyssey--a poet abandoned on a stony island--and the sea that surrounds him. Several voices drift in and out of the poem; though there are no proper names, we recognize familiar characters and the presiding spirit of Proteus, the shape-shifting sea-god.
Reading Nobody is like watching the ocean; we slip our earthly moorings and follow the circling shoal of sea voices into a mesh of sound and light and water--fluid, abstract, and moving with the wash of waves.
one person has the character of dust
another has an arrow for a soul
but their stories all end
in the sea