It's full of sharp imagery and observation and a treat whether you are an ornithologist or a poet.
These poems are skilfully crafted and immensely satisfying to read and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.
Walk through these poems and you will find yourself on shores, in woodland and marshes, amongst mudflats, rocks and creeks. These places are evoked with as sure a touch as the vital and often ebullient descriptions of the birds, who are the heroes and heroines of this collection.
Carol, a long time member of the RSPB, knows and loves the Avian world in a way many of us could not begin to understand, but through her eyes we gain a deeper awareness of the morals and mores of the feathered community. We are lulled as we listen…
…to each tern gently rustle down,then startled awake by redshank…
on the islet of sleep, where plover already rest
with feather over beak,
Quick stepper of the mud,We are taken on a journey of discovery to a greater knowledge of birds, we grasp their essence, their infinite variations, their ways of moving and flying, there is an intensity and urgency in many of the lines that is almost painful, as in 'Kestrel,'…
run, run, stab,
run, run, stab,
to life's rapid beat,
Hunger huntingI think these poems will inspire any reader to look more closely at what is happening on our shores, in the countryside, in our gardens, all around us, by the way these delicate, often elegant, and sometimes aggressive creatures, come to life on the pages.
eyes cut the marsh,
focussed like a scimitar,
razored as the air.
Carol Thistlethwaite's love of ornithology inspired this collection. Her acute observation and knowledge honed and shaped the contents to make each poem as individual as each bird.
From the beginning, these poems get to the essence of human perception, but which enter - as much as is humanly possible - the consciousness of birds which are their focus. The delicacy of line and line-break enacts this, though sometimes it's the work of diction. Intense observation precedes translation into the most memorable of literary language.