The Poetry of Birds edited by Simon Armitage and Tim Dee

This anthology is a beautiful book. There is a fascinating mix of poetry to enjoy, with some of the included work familiar to the common reader. However, for every poem by the likes of Yeats there is one by the likes of Carver. It is this juxtaposition that makes it into an extraordinary collection.

Each reader will have their favourite poem and many tastes will be satisfied. It is awkward to write much more. However, it is worth saying that those who prefer their poetry to be simple and effective will be in bliss. Of course, the incredible difficulty of composing elegant poetry must be underlined.

The poem which epitomises the genius of this collection is ‘The Common Cormorant’ by Christopher Isherwood. Isherwood produced some fine prose in his day, but this wonderful poem highlights his versatility.


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