Twelve Poems about Birds – Candlestick Press

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Published April 12th 2010 by Candlestick Press
Genre: Poetry
Pages: 16
Star rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Opening line:

“Down the centuries, countless poets have hitched a lift on the wings of birds.”

Synopsis (from the blurb):

Poets and birds go back a long way. Down the centuries, countless poets have hitched a lift on the wings of birds. Twelve Poems about Birds offers a glimpse of our rich heritage of bird poems.

We hope that this selection will inspire you to read on elsewhere, perhaps on rainy days when your binoculars and field guides lie idle.

Includes poems by Elizabeth Bishop, John Clare, Emily Dickinson, Thomas Hardy, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Karin Koller, Edward Lear, Edward Thomas, Lynne Wycherley and Francis Brett Young.

My review

To start with, poems about birds could come into the category of ‘nature poems’. As a reader of poetry, nature poems are among my least favourite. There’s no particular reason, but I think when it comes to the natural world I like to connect with it more in person, by being out there and experiencing it for myself. I find it difficult to connect with nature through poetry.

However, birds are charming in so many ways and they are a bit more than just a part of nature. They are poetic and inspiring creatures, and occasionally they slip into poems. There’s something about them, so I’m not surprised that Candlestick Press decided to publish this poetry pamphlet dedicated to birds.

I’d never read ‘bird poetry’ exclusively before, but it makes sense to gather a handful of them up. This collection is like a nest of birds, except they’re all unique and expressive of different (but similar) feelings about birds.

We start with swans, and the poem ‘Bewick Swans arrive at Ouse Washes’ by Lynne Wycherley, which encapsulates the behavior of swans as a mark of the season, bringing with them an uplifting feeling.  It’s the ideal poem to start with, since they’re arriving!

The following poems celebrate birds, and pinpoint various species of birds such as Jays, Sandpiper, Thrush, Kestral, Wren…

My two favourite poems are ‘bird feeder’ by Karin Koller, and ‘The Ptarmingan’ (Anon). These two play with form and spelling in an extremely clever and fun way which adds an element of charm to the collection which made me smile and appreciate how fun birds can be when you watch them.

There are some well-known poets in here, and it showcases that birds are definitely creatures that have become great inspiration to poets, and that they are worth having poems written about them.

The perfect gift for a bird lover, bird watcher, bird keeper…or anyone who needs converting to nature poetry!

Comes with a beautiful accompanying bookmark for writing your message on.

Link to the pamphlet on Goodreads: Twelve Poems about Birds

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