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Birds and Poets : with Other Papers   By: (1837-1921)

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In "Birds and Poets: with Other Papers," John Burroughs beautifully weaves together his deep appreciation for nature and the poetic spirit. This collection of essays takes readers on a captivating journey through the enchanting world of birds, offering an insight into their unique behaviors, melodies, and our enduring connection with them.

Burroughs' writing effortlessly immerses us in the natural world, inviting us to observe and marvel at its intricate wonders. Through vivid descriptions and personal anecdotes, he introduces us to a myriad of avian species, sharing their quirks, habitats, and the remarkable songs that have long inspired poets and storytellers. From the unforgettable song of the mockingbird to the playful tricks of the blue jay, every chapter comes alive with his profound sense of awe and observation.

What sets this book apart is Burroughs' ability to blend biology and poetry seamlessly. As he delves into the scientific aspects of bird life, he simultaneously explores the profound impact they have had on human art. Drawing on his extensive knowledge of literature, Burroughs intertwines bird knowledge with references to famous poems, emphasizing how birds have been a timeless source of inspiration for poets throughout history. These connections illuminate the deep-rooted relationship between the natural world and the creative spirit, showing how the rhythmic chorus of birdsong has resonated through generations of poetry.

Beyond his insights into birds and poetry, Burroughs explores a range of other topics, providing a rich variety of intellectual stimulation. He reflects on the transformative power of solitary walks in nature, the significance of the stars above, and the influence of changing seasons on our perception of the world. Each essay is characterized by Burroughs' contemplative and evocative prose, inviting readers to pause, reflect, and reconnect with the natural world that surrounds us.

The only slight drawback is that some passages, particularly those that delve into specific bird behaviors, may require a basic familiarity with bird anatomy and biology, which might be challenging for readers who are new to ornithology. However, Burroughs' gentle and engaging writing style ensures that even those with minimal knowledge of birds will find ample enjoyment in his tales and reflections.

"Birds and Poets: with Other Papers" is a timeless treasure for nature enthusiasts, poets, and anyone seeking to deepen their appreciation for the world outside their window. Burroughs' eloquence and genuine love for nature shine through every page, reminding us of the wonders that unfold around us if we take the time to observe and listen. This book serves as a gentle reminder of the beauty, inspiration, and solace that can be found in the midst of the natural world, and an invitation to cultivate a deeper connection with the birds that sing their exquisite songs for us all.

First Page:




By John Burroughs


I have deliberated a long time about coupling some of my sketches of outdoor nature with a few chapters of a more purely literary character, and thus confiding to my reader what absorbs and delights me inside my four walls, as well as what pleases and engages me outside those walls; especially since I have aimed to bring my outdoor spirit and method within, and still to look upon my subject with the best naturalist's eye I could command.

I hope, therefore, he will not be scared away when I boldly confront him in the latter portions of my book with this name of strange portent, Walt Whitman, for I assure him that in this misjudged man he may press the strongest poetic pulse that has yet beaten in America, or perhaps in modern times. Then, these chapters are a proper supplement or continuation of my themes and their analogy in literature, because in them we shall "follow out these lessons of the earth and air," and behold their application to higher matters.

It is not an artificially graded path strewn with roses that invites us in this part, but, let me hope, something better, a rugged trail through the woods or along the beach where we shall now and then get a whiff of natural air, or a glimpse of something to

"Make the wild blood start In its mystic springs... Continue reading book >>

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