Thursday, 13 December 2012

One Bird Flying by Lesley Harrison

In 2007 - 08, Lesley Harrison spent a year working in Mongolia with The Journals of Marco Polo as her constant reading companion. This small but perfectly formed chapbook is the poetic result of her year.

One Bird Flying is beautifully spare, meditative and evocative. The reader is taken instantly to the wide open lands of Mongolia,

 a mountain lake, its jade skin
delicate and fractured.

(from Green)
to spend time with the nomadic peoples and the birds that live there. There is the sense of a culture that is one with nature (or at least more at ease with it than we in the West have mostly become) 

Bury me
at the beginning of the sky
an empty road full of sunlight,
one bird flying overhead.

(from Blue)

Harrison's own poetry alternates with her poetic renderings of The Journals of Marco Polo:

The Mongol way of hunting is not to fire
at herds, for perhaps a higher spirit
lives in the body of a wild gazelle

and its light and holiness
bow gather other animals round it. 

(from The Journals of Marco Polo, Book II.10)

Together they weave a beautiful tapestry of  Mongolian culture and landscape:

this radiance, this water light
this empty room of light and list

a single bell
that holds its note, inaudibly, for days.

(from White)

One Bird Flying by Lesley Harrison, published by Mariscat

Lesley will be reading from her new collection Beyond the Map at the Scottish Poetry Library tomorrow at 6.30pm. The event is free.

and meanwhile I have another haiku on Daily Haiku today, you can read it here.


Christina said...

Lovely words to read this morning.

Bill said...

Very interesting. Thank you for sharing it.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Great line the bell holding its note for days.

eileeninmd said...

Sounds like a lovely book of poems. Thanks for sharing!

Titus said...

Thanks Poet, I must chase this. I have a recurring fantasy of travelling to Ulan Bator.

RG said...

I have heard it is a grand place to visit ...

Cuby said...

I have read a few books about Mongolia and have found it so interesting. This post is lovely I have enjoyed reading it, her book must be a joy.