After moving from New York City to rural Illinois, writer Letitia Moffitt met veterinarian Ken Welle. As she began to share more of her life with him, Letitia realized this would also mean sharing her time with animals. Yet she never suspected how tense, terrifying, and noisy those moments would be. Ken loved birds—big, beautiful macaws in particular—and he did not merely want to own them. He wanted them to fly free.
Bird People tells the story of Ken’s struggle to make his dream come true, and how Letitia found her own way to share that dream. It’s a tale of love, delight, sorrow, adventure, and truly massive amounts of work, as Ken and Letitia trained the birds – a blue-and-gold named Boston, and a green-wing named Phoenix – and transformed their living space to be not just bird-friendly, but bird-centric. It’s the tale of two adult humans, the dog who helped them find each other, and the birds who became the focus of all their lives. It’s a story about living your dreams, even when they don’t turn out how you expect. Above all, Letitia Moffitt’s touching, inspiring, often-hilarious memoir is a reminder that hard times are as valuable as good times, and that all the moments matter.
From the Abyss by Vantar is a collection of poems that range in length, generally one to two pages long in four-line stanzas. I really appreciated the exceptional way that nature is brought to life in these poems. Sometimes this is in the way a bird or beast is described and others in the way we see a sunflower or how it feels to climb a mountain. These vivid descriptions go beyond the physicality of the object and delve into a feeling or sense of a thing. Along with this, many poems tackle a deeper or perhaps darker view of the world. The poems explore themes of beginnings and endings, of natural cycles of life, of loss, of depth, and of that which is hard to imagine. The poems are a fascinating mix of real and beyond real, bringing a little bit of magic through words into the world of nature. Vantar’s language was exquisite, both easy to read and sparking the imagination. I also like the way he uses references to lure the mind to images without having to explicitly describe them, like giving us the image of a Van Gogh sunflower in order to get to the idea of the sunflower following the sun before starting again.
Within the book, there are over eighty poems each managing to be unique while connected. Vantar accomplishes this through the use of similar themes, sticking to the natural world for the most part, and by repeating keywords from one poem to the next. I found it hard to pick favorites from the book because there were so many stanzas and lines that really sparked my mind but ‘Sunflower,’ ‘Nightingale’s Song,’ ‘The Star Triangle,’ and ‘Zenith’ stuck out to me. The book is filled with so many beautiful poems that it is easy to read through and find several that speak to you. I would say that if you like reading poetry, especially poetry about nature and thought, that this is a must read. The language is intricate and subtle which makes each poem easy to read while still holding a stunning beauty. This is the kind of book that makes a wonderful gift, or a fun book to leave on your coffee table to read a poem or two in the morning to get you thinking about the world.
Pages: 126 | ISBN: 1479776483