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  • The way his novels are truly poetic, Ondaatje's thrilling poems often read like exquisite, unwritten Ondaatje novels.

    Independent on Sunday
  • Handwriting explores Sri Lankan history, geography, ceremonies and myths. It is crowded with scintillating images, such as a tightrope-walker caught in a power cut, beautiful colours and textures

    New Statesman
  • Michael Ondaatje defies the normal distinction between poet and novelist. His writing is consistently tuned to a visionary pitch

    Graham Swift
  • Ondaatje's poems are a joy, as all his writing is. The wonderful twists, painful and funny; the utterly individual touch and sumptuous wealth of language; they're all familiar, but as one would expect, they seem to keep getting better, more assured and sometimes more crazy

    W. S. Merwin
  • His poems read with the same whimsical precision and authority one finds in Ondaatje's prose. He is the most sensibly ironic writer I've read in years, and the most generously disposed. Would that all worlds were this deftly attended

    Robert Creeley

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