edited by Peggy Munsterberg
This week’s Book of the Week is an illustrated anthology of poems about birds to mark National Poetry Day. The theme this year is “messages” and the following anonymous poem from the book seems an apt example.
Wild geese, wild geese, ganging to the sea,
Good weather it will be.
Wild geese, wild geese, ganging to the hill,
The weather it will spill.
Ominous Anglo-Saxon predators, medieval birds who speak English and Latin, melodious Elizabethan songsters, soothsayers and weather prophets from folk lore.
This delightful anthology draws upon the heritage of a thousand years of English bird poetry. Celebrated favourites and many less familiar works are represented together with a good deal of fresh material – bird masses, madrigals, lute songs and rhymes from oral tradition. The book is also a fascinating social history, for what these poems also record is ‘man’s changing view of the world, and in this sense, the subject is man himself’.
Madrigals and lute songs
Glossary of bird names
Index of birds
Index of poets
Index of first lines