Michael Ondaatje

Michael Ondaatje Biography

Philip Michael Ondaatje (born September 12, 1943), is a Sri Lankan-born Canadian novelist and poet. He won the Booker Prize for his novel The English Patient, which was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film.

Early life

Ondaatje was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) in 1943 and moved to England in 1954. He attended Dulwich College. After relocating to Canada in 1962, Ondaatje became a Canadian citizen. He studied for a time at Bishop's College School and Bishop's University in Lennoxville, Quebec, but moved to Toronto, where he received his BA from the University of Toronto and his MA from Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario. He then began teaching at the University of Western Ontario in London. In 1970, he settled in Toronto and, from 1971 to 1990, taught English ...

Michael Ondaatje Quotes

11 November 2014

The first sentence of every novel should be: "Trust me, this will take time but there is order here, very faint, very human." Meander if you want to get to town.

11 November 2014

The past is still, for us, a place that is not safely settled.

Michael Ondaatje Comments

Catherine Cotter 03 November 2018

Loving it

6 2 Reply
yeeter5000 23 January 2018

i yoted my water bottle down the hall with thomas

9 0 Reply

The Best Poem Of Michael Ondaatje

The Cinnamon Peeler

If I were a cinnamon peeler
I would ride your bed
And leave the yellow bark dust
On your pillow.

Your breasts and shoulders would reek
You could never walk through markets
without the profession of my fingers
floating over you. The blind would
stumble certain of whom they approached
though you might bathe
under rain gutters, monsoon.

Here on the upper thigh
at this smooth pasture
neighbour to you hair
or the crease
that cuts your back. This ankle.
You will be known among strangers
as the cinnamon peeler's wife.

I could hardly glance at you
before marriage
never touch you
--your keen nosed mother, your rough brothers.
I buried my hands
in saffron, disguised them
over smoking tar,
helped the honey gatherers...

When we swam once
I touched you in the water
and our bodies remained free,
you could hold me and be blind of smell.
you climbed the bank and said

this is how you touch other women
the grass cutter's wife, the lime burner's daughter.
And you searched your arms
for the missing perfume

and knew

what good is it
to be the lime burner's daughter
left with no trace
as if not spoken to in the act of love
as if wounded without the pleasure of a scar.

You touched
your belly to my hands
in the dry air and said
I am the cinnamon
Peeler's wife. Smell me.

Michael Ondaatje Popularity

Michael Ondaatje Popularity

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