The Names of Birds : Poems

The Names of Birds : Poems

Book - 2011
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A nuthatch walking perpendicular down a tree, "dressed to kill," the hydraulic lift of the sand hill cranes' legs at take-off, the song of the vireo. Perhaps birders are a special species but they also include many of us, who if not trained to binoculars, are still stopped in our tracks at a flickering wing in our peripheral vision. In this latest collection of poems, Tom Crawford lends his keen sense of observation and resonant language to the wonder and evocative nature of birds in all their multiplicity. Here are a hundred pages of remarkable poetry, poems, which, in their accessibility and lyrical celebration, establish man's essential connection with birds and the natural world. As he says in his prologue, "We are spiritual animals. When we forget this essential truth, we invite calamity." These poems are offered like prayers-as if by naming the thing- like Shackleton planting a flag at the north pole -the poet stakes a claim for birds, and by extension the planet. His poems sing an ancient truth: to lose our sense of wonder is to lose ourselves. What makes THE NAMES OF BIRDS unique is the balance the poet strikes between fear and hope, mystery and wonder. This he achieves by telling us a story in poetry of his own beginnings as a boy discovering birds and their magical place in his young life, a story readers of all ages can relate to. Through his evolution to maturity-- his journey from Michigan, to southern California, the Pacific northwest, Manhattan, New Mexico and Asia- China, Korea - his writing becomes infused with Eastern thought and a sense of mysticism. A book for birders and serious readers of poetry alike.
Publisher: Santa Fe, NM : Sherman Asher Publishing, 2011
ISBN: 9781890932404
189093240X
Characteristics: 141 p. ; 23 cm

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a
andreareads
Sep 24, 2013

It’s my job, though, / in a loud world. To be quiet. / Friend to the smallest song.

a
andreareads
Sep 24, 2013

God bless gravity though, / the way it throws us all a curve / on the round earth, / and puts spring in the poem.

a
andreareads
Sep 24, 2013

Yet if we want to know what sky is, / or home, we have to look up, / and don’t we have to put a bird in it.

a
andreareads
Sep 24, 2013

it’s a stone, especially one of those / smooth, black ones / you hold to your ear / from a cold running creek . . . It’s the operator / inside, telling you, go ahead, / you’re connected.

a
andreareads
Sep 24, 2013

_Habitat, decline, endangered species, / extinct_, don’t mean a thing, /do they, unless someone’s / bulldozing / your house?

a
andreareads
Sep 24, 2013

It’s not beauty though, but failure / I most connect with. Like the feathered / equivalent of the little engine that could . . .

a
andreareads
Sep 24, 2013

Bird watching / is the color of hope. Like writing poetry, / you have to believe in what’s not there / until it is.

a
andreareads
Sep 24, 2013

It’s silly to talk to the peach tree / about future pies, that’s why / we have portfolio managers . . . / For the Black-headed Grosbeak, / who’s in my fruit tree / the pie is now.

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jackseney Feb 14, 2016

A good volume for bird watchers, full of short but image-packed poems. Each one connects simple but stirring viewings of birds and nature to other concepts, including aging, death and spirituality. These poems can be digested in an easy but meaningful read, either while reading one's way through the winter to a birdwatching spring or while getting ready to go out for a summer bird jaunt in the park.

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