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Wishing for Birds

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  187 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Reaching inwards to explore the self; reaching back to explore what made us who we are.

In this collection of fifty poems, Elisabeth Hewer ponders love and the world, whilst tackling the inexplicable desires and dangers that thread through our daily lives.

At times hopeful, at times despairing, her poems ruminate on all the things we comes up against, even if, on occasion, i
Paperback, 84 pages
Published October 30th 2015 by Platypus Press
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4.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  187 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Oct 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The girl on the news never invited
that man to touch her.
All I can think about is how
I wish she had something savage
coursing through her skin.

Elisabeth does something amazing with her debut collection. She somehow offers an introspective look into herself that serves as a commentary on the world around her. With a tone both dreamy and aching, there’s a simplicity to her words as she writes that manages to set a tone that will leave you yearning to explore the world. There’s also something to b
Alice Lippart
Nov 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely breathtaking. Would highly recommend.
" I mean to say you're unbearable
but I'd suffer more than this to stay
close. "

I absolutely loved this collection! Definitely going to be looking out for more of Elisabeth's work!
Noelia Alonso
Aug 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016

Beautiful. Powerful. Poignant
Nov 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have just finished Elisabeth Hewer’s Wishing for Birds and I have to say I am completely in awe of it. I have been following her for quite a while now and have anxiously awaited a publication of her poems, and now it’s finally here and has surpassed all of my expectations.

Although this collection of poems is only around 70 pages long, they pack such punch that they stay with you as any 300 page novel would. The final lines of each poem are a thing to behold, adding new meaning and revealing t
Dec 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Breathtaking! These poems are a treat to read (and reread). Every time I go through them again I notice new things. Highly recommend!
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

To me this was a book about dreaming. Dreaming of being bigger, better, someone who makes a mark on the world.
I love the way Elisabeth challenges the idea that life will always be 'unfair' and instead says it is people and their inability to be kind which is often to blame. I loved the idea that sensitivity and positivity can change the world and I really hope that one day people will favour 'feeling emotion too deeply' over gaining power by caring less.
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wishing For Birds is a poetry collection that was written by Elisabeth Hewer and published in 2015. The collection is split into three sections entitled: Looking Out, Looking In and Looking Back. Elisabeth Hewer explores herself through these poems by examining what’s inside of herself, the world around her and her past. These poems show a desire for something more and a reflection of the world, the universe and of the self.

Did I Like It?:
I absolutely fell in love with this collection! Th
Sep 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Some of the poems were really great, and some I didn't like as much. Altogether a good collection of poems, and I'll definitely read more of her poetry.
Mimi Carstairs
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
A beautiful collection of poetry.

A miracle with a smile like skies.
A universe wearing human skin."

Some of my favourite quotes:

"You're a defiant act of creation.
You're a whole solar system pretending to be a person."

"I do not know if stars get lonely,
or if angels have to take
off their shoes inside Heaven.
I don't know how perfume is made,
or if Antinous even wanted to be a god.

I don't know if your bones ache
the way mine do when I don't have you

I don't know if I want to know, ei
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a quietly powerful first book of poems. I bought this collection after reading a poem from it about Helen of Troy. Several other poems use figures from classical mythology and they were some of the best in the book. Hewer's poetry opens into a pondering consciousness that verges on neurotic. But there are sparks of imagination everywhere that shine light on the absurdities and anxieties of living in our age. Sadly, I didn't find the bird motif particularly powerful or new, but I definite ...more
João Calafate
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Holy fuck.

I have no words, to be honest.
Jul 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I would 100% recommend this to anyone- especially young women. Elisabeth's dreamily cynical words will hit deep at times, and at others will skim the surface and give shape to something you'd be thinking about for days.
Nathalie (keepreadingbooks)
I find it difficult to give a bad review of something I had very high hopes for. It always feels like a betrayal of sorts - of myself, the book, the author, I'm not entirely sure, but of something. Perhaps just a betrayal of my hopes, my will to make this a great reading experience.

It wasn't exactly. It's not that it was bad, in a sense, but I feel exceptionally underwhelmed. Poetry does not necessarily have to rhyme, far from it - especially in modern poetry - but (to me at least) it has to be
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This collection is gorgeous. I've been having some trouble connecting with poetry lately, but this really brought me out of my funk so I made sure to take my time with it. Some particular favourites:

Space Race, Unpassable Exam, Finding Ariadne, Girl/Sea, Love Letters from Helen of Troy, Graveyard Hymn, and Homesick.

Homesick honestly beat me up and left me for dead. And now I'm going to use a bunch of mixed imagery and contradictory pairs to describe this collection; it had such a delicate, gentl
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Rating: 3.5, rounding up because the ones I love, I really love.

But there are some poems that just miss it for me. Maybe it's that I don't connect with the topic or I didn't find them as lyrical as her Hewer's poems can be. Mythology/feral women ones are quotable to the point that I want tattoos of them but still there are enough in this collection to ignore that I don't want to give it five stars. I did enter with high expectations though.
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
I thought some poems were amazing and other left me pretty indifferent, but overall, a collection worth buying.
Mar 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"God should have made girls lethal when he made monsters of men."

A stunning collection of poetry, it filled up my heart.
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been looking for a good poetry book to read and this was exactly what I was looking for.
Beautiful. Poignant. Breathtaking.
I really need to buy a physical copy so I can highlight, underline and !!!! all my favourite poems and lines. Such a great collection of poetry. 10/10 would recommend.
✦ Daniëlle ✦
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Wishing for Birds is a beautiful, lovely poetry collection full of all kinds of emotion. Loved it.
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mine
This is utterly beautiful.
Daisy Culmer
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Made my heart ache and rejoice. Such beauty! "I mean to say you're unbearable but I'd suffer more than this to stay close."
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It made me want to write again
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I have so much love for @fish.
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, 2017
I loved this poetry collection. Some poems more than others but overall it was beautiful.
Here are some of my favorite parts:

I mean to say you're unbearable
but I'd suffer more than this to stay close.

- All Hot Air

A miracle with a smile like skies.
A universe wearing human skin.

- You

You're a defiant act
of creation. You're a whole
solar system pretending to be
a person.

- World Inside Expanding

I am tired of this. I am tired of grey.
I am tired of a world that extends ten metres
before somebody
Dec 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
In her debut collection of poetry, Elisabeth Hewer addresses love, loneliness, the world at large and all the possibilities and pains therein. Through the different sections of her book, she is introspective while keeping a wide scope that allows her words to remain familiar to all readers. Her work reads like the tales of an old friend, and yet somehow we are all this old friend, we have all felt these aches, felt small yet have yearned to be large and fearsome and as powerful as the universe a ...more
Liz Whitehouse
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am going to say that no matter how amazed anyone else is that I electively read and finished a poetry collection, I am more surprised. What's more, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I think it helps that the poems aren't long or arduous to read or understand. I think it helps that the writer is of my generation, not only in age but in online and social media usage. She is a tumblr user, a fan, a woman in the modern world, which make her words and her poems that much more relatable. There of some, of cou
Alannie Marshall
Jan 30, 2017 rated it liked it
This is definitely the kind of work that you read in one sitting. The first section is more lighthearted (which I greatly enjoyed), while the remainder seemed very tortured. They say you learn more about the poet by reading their work than the actual meaning of the poem itself--an accurate statement in this case. Elisabeth Hewer seems like she feels very deeply. Because of this, I felt myself aching for her as I progressed through the work. I enjoyed it, but I suppose one can only enjoy the pain ...more
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
Some of the poems I found poignant and lovely, such as Green Suns, others i found insipid. Some of the imagery is very vivid in the best of ways, but some of it enters, in my opinion, purple prose overmuch (even for poetry).
In this breath-takingly beautiful debut collection, Elisabeth Hewer displays a sense of lyricism and astuteness that make her poetry sing.

"Rebellion sits well on you / like a red coat / or the gilt gold burnish of youth"

Collecting together sixty poems, Wishing For Birds covers topics that range from the most personal and individual to the national and social, displaying in the process Hewer’s keen grasp of how to introduce and weave (at times, unusual) imagery into the “narrative” of her poems.
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Goodreads Authors...: Wishing for Birds 2 10 Nov 09, 2015 05:25AM  
¡ POETRY !: WISHING FOR BIRDS (New Poetry Collection) 1 12 Nov 09, 2015 12:57AM  
  • Becoming the Villainess
  • Our Bodies & Other Fine Machines
  • We Were Young
  • A Woman of Property
  • Heaven
  • Howling at the Moon
  • How the Water Feels to the Fishes
  • You Are the Map
  • [redacted]
  • Every Dark Waning
  • Rebels by Accident
  • Unwritten Letters to You
  • Crybaby
  • Prelude to Light
  • Kingdom Animalia
  • Love, an Index
  • Notes from the Divided Country: Poems
  • Collected Sonnets
“Look to your kingdoms—
I am coming for them all.”
“I could do it. I could rip your life out like a fury, like a beast.
I could stand over you with my red hands
and lap the heart out of your hollow chest.
I'm a wolf, I'm a woman, I'm a building hurricane.
I'm whole-way sharp teeth, soul-sick wet claws.
I say "love me," and you say, "you're killing me."
I say, "i'd die for you," and you say," You'd kill for me—that's not the same thing.”
More quotes…