A luminous anthology of poems and prose inspired by the weather, that mutable, impressionistic action on the stage of the day.
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 bareheaded, exposed to each other’s elements, as a medley of voices. 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.
About the Author
Paul Keegan is the editor of The Penguin Book of English Verse. He lives in London.
Alice Oswald is the author of eight books of poetry. Elected as the University of Oxford Professor of Poetry in 2019, she lives in Bristol, United Kingdom.