This is a collection of poems and essays by Mary Oliver centered on birds. Owls, gulls, the crow and the catbird, the hawk, herons, thrushes, flickersThis is a collection of poems and essays by Mary Oliver centered on birds. Owls, gulls, the crow and the catbird, the hawk, herons, thrushes, flickers, and starlings and more make their feathery appearances here.
I love how Oliver takes small, simple observations of her surroundings and transforms them to something profound. The hawk becomes the knife, the marsh grasses are the wings of the herons who died there, and the geese teach us about having a place in "the family of life."
The essay "Bird" was so touching, I cried. It brought up for me the feelings of grief in recently losing favorite pet chickens to a fat raccoon. As a person who works for CT Audubon, as a human who keeps chickens and ducks as pets, and as a watcher and walker in this world, these bird poems could not have been a more perfect read, curled into an armchair beneath blankets on a snowy, winter's night.
Read them slowly, spend some time with each one, and reread as you go. Her poems are rich, yet minimal, and worth every moment reading....more