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The Dainty Monsters

3.63  ·  Rating Details  ·  38 Ratings  ·  1 Review
Published by Theatre Communications Group (first published 1967)
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Oct 12, 2008 Craig rated it it was ok
Notes as I read this over on a first-blizzard-of-the-season October night...

My first book by Ondaatje. Didn't realize that he was the author of The English Patient.

"Dragon": ' a badly held cocktail...' Wondering what exactly this simile means though I like the poem. I'm picturing someone teetering on the edge of a long party, about two cocktails beyond when they should have stopped - the stem of the glass loosely held between numbed fingers, drips of sugared liquor seeping into the carpet
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He was born to a Burgher family of Dutch-Tamil-Sinhalese-Portuguese origin. He moved to England with his mother in 1954. After relocating to Canada in 1962, Ondaatje became a Canadian citizen. Ondaatje studied for a time at Bishops College School and Bishop's University in Lennoxville, Quebec, but moved to Toronto and received his BA from the University of Toronto and his MA from Queen's Universit ...more
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“I have been seeing dragons again.
Last night, hunched on a beaver dam,
one held a body like a badly held cocktail;
his tail, keeping the beat of a waltz,
sent a morse of ripples to my canoe.

They are not richly bright
but muted like dawns
or the vague sheen on a fly's wing.
Their old flesh drags in folds
as they drop into grey pools,
strain behind a tree.

Finally the others saw one today, trapped,
tangled in our badminton net.
The minute eyes shuddered deep in the creased face
while his throat, strangely fierce, stretched
to release an extinct burning inside:
pathetic loud whispers as four of us
and the excited spaniel surrounded him.”
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