Kate's Reviews > Field Guide

Field Guide by Robert Hass
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's review
Feb 19, 09

Naming as poetry. A friend or two gave this to me and my husband after we moved to california, and we went on a trip with them, in the West, and they observed that we had become overly preoccupied, even ecstatic, with the naming of things, namely raptors, or hawks, and egrets and herons, and all the wild looking plants that appear in the West, crazy, over-scented flora, to the non-western eye. This book is the perfect companion to that obsession, of course it got there first. From "Letter" : "You even have my field guide. It's you I love. I have believed so long in the magic of names and poems. I hadn't thought them bodiless at all. Tall Buttercup. Wild Vetch. 'Often I am permitted to return to the meadow.' It all seemed real to me last week. Words. You are the body of my world, root and flower, the brightness and surprise of birds. I miss you, love. Tell Leif you're the names of things."

Surely poetry doesn't get any better than that....
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