Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bright Wings: An Illustrated Anthology of Poems About Birds Edited by Billy Collins, Paintings by David Allen Sibley

This fun volume has given me much pleasure over the last month. Bright Wings travels easy and makes a good companion when even only a few minutes become available for reading. Many of the birds come to my feeders, and I found myself thumbing through the book to read the poem.

One of my favorite birds to visit is the Northern Cardinal. The poem Collins selected has a grace and beauty to match the bird: “The Cardinal” by Henry Carlile:

“Not to conform to any other color
is the secret of being colorful.

He shocks us when he flies
like a red verb over the snow.

He sifts through the blue evenings
to his roost.

He is turning purple.
Soon he’ll be black.

In the bar’s dark I think of him
There are no cardinals here.

Only a woman in a red dress.” (203)

Fans of birds, poetry, and Billy Collins’ tastes in poetry will love this book. (5 stars)

--Chiron, 10/20/10

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