Sunday, 18 January 2009

From the Fieldbook by Carol Thistlethwaite

As a birdwatcher and poet how could I resist Carol Thistlethwaite's poetry collection about birds from the fieldbook? It's packed full of well observed poems about birds seen around the UK. Many of these poems use imaginative layouts to capture the movement of the birds they describe and all show a love of the sounds of language. Some poems I love for their perfect descriptions of my favourite birds, eg Turnstone which starts: chink plink chink plink pebble flicking turnstone, which beautifully captures the sound of this shore bird. Others are evocative descriptions of birds I would love to see, such as this haunting description of a Barn Owl:

a phantom with the weight of life
hooked in its claws.

There are also some very useful poems that capture the essence of birds I have trouble identifying when I do see them, so I'll keep this book with my binoculars so that when I'm next at the coast, I can remind myself that Knots are stout and unhurried while if I observe:

colours pushed to spangled greys,
snow bellies, matchstalk legs
strike out at break-neck speed

I'm looking at Sanderling.

This collection is a must for anyone who loves birds and poetry!

from the field book is available from Bewrite at £4.99 plus p&p


Anonymous said...

Who doesn't like poetry and birds?
Thanks for the recommendation and links Cheers DavidM

Janice Thomson said...

Can't wait to get my hands on that book - thanks so much for recommending this!

Rabbits' Guy said...

I never thought about how poetry could add another set of identification information! Sometimes it may be the only one that works ...

Coastcard said...

I quite agree with CGP: Carol has a keen birder's eye and a highly tuned poetic sense of creativity. I learned a lot about the different species from the collection.

Anonymous said...

your review makes this book sound absolutely delightful

apprentice said...

Sounds a lovely book, snapshot's book wingbeats, all of Britain's birds in haiku is very good too.