The book Bright Wings is such a tangent for me. It is the common point, where poetry touches birds. And where birds touch poetry.
The book is edited by Billy Collins with paintings by David Allen Sibley. Sibley's is currently my favorite birding book - I keep my copy beside our computer. I used to carry Peterson's Field Guide with me - one in my car, one in my backpack. But just recently a friend introduced me to Sibley's, so now I am enjoying his birding art.
And Billy Collins? He is a kick of a poet and reader. He can share poems with you in a way that only lovers of poetry can share. He didn't write the poems in this book, but he has gathered them to showcase Sibley's paintings.
It is hard not to look at a bird and see some sort of poetry. It can be poetry of hope, of soaring, of anger, or of hunger. Of the blue heron, Collins shows us the Jane Hershfield poem "Hope and Love".
I know that hope
is the hardest
love we carry.
with his long neck
folded, like a letter
(Hope and Love, pg. 32, Bright Wings)
or this poetic picture about crows by Lucia Perillo:
Little Elvises, the hairdo slicked
with way too much grease...
(The Crows Start Demaning Royalties, pg. 139, Bright Wings)
And a view of an owl by Charles Simic:
When I say his name aloud,
He turns his head
And looks at me
In utter disbelief.
(The Great Horned Owl, pg. 95, Bright Wings)
Poems about birds...
crows looking like Elvis,
owls starring at you in disbelief,
hope as a love...
what a lovely tangent!