Alice Oswald: My life is laid beneath my children like gold leaf


Alice Oswald, British born 1966

elected Professor of Poetry, Oxford University in June 2019

from Falling Awake, 2016







Mt. Cuba, Hockessin Delaware, 2018. Legacy of the Lammot du Pont Copelands




I heard a cough

as if a thief was there

outside my sleep

a sharp intake of air



a fox in her fox-fur

stepping across 

the grass in her black gloves

barked at my house


just so abrupt and odd

the way she went

hungrily asking

in the heart’s thick accent


in such serious sleepless

trespass she came

a woman with a man’s voice

but no name


as if to say:  it’s midnight

and my life

is laid beneath my children

like gold leaf





Fragment of a gold wreath, Greek, 330-320 BCE, sheet gold, from a tomb in the Crimea on the northern shore of the Black Sea. 

On display at the Metropolitan Museum, NY in 2019 on loan from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC




































2 thoughts on “Alice Oswald: My life is laid beneath my children like gold leaf

  1. Je me souviens d’un documentaire qui supposait que cette couronne de feuilles d’or, ou une semblable, pouvait être la couronne d’Alexandre le Grand.
    Les lieux et dates correspondent en tout cas.

    1. I understand because I was surprised that no mention was made of Alexander the Great. I decided that I was imagining connections which don’t exist. But I agree with you, there is a similar gold leaf crown which has been associated with Alexander the Great somehwere in some collection……….Sarah

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