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Title: Review of 'birdlife', Eds. Nyanda Smith and Perdita Phillips: Lethologica Press, 2011. ISBN 978-0-9758334-4-5
Contributor(s): Ryan, John C  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2012
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: Birds. Eternal subjects for artists and poets. The choreographic abilities of birds to rise above the earthly, their elegant weathering of the airs, their enchanting songs - these are some of the enduring, alluring qualities of the avian. As an example of this age-old fascination, the Old English poem 'The Seafarer', quoted above, relates to birds through the longing and loneliness of the speaker's exile. Further along in English literature, Shakespeare mentions the ornithological more than six-hundred times, and alludes to over sixty different British species. And in contemporary poetry, Pablo Neruda's Art of Birds is a spiritual meditation on Chilean species, whereas, closer to Western Australia, Lines for Birds, a collaboration between painter John Wolseley and poet Barry Hill, celebrates the antipodean sky messengers of our region. Images and words & images in words & birds and words... In simple terms, da Vinci linked painting to the sense of sight and poetry to the bodily senses and to the emotions. In reviewing birdlife, I recall his aphorism: 'Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen'. For da Vinci, the relationship between image and word is essential. It strikes me that the rapport between visual art and poetry, which is explored so beautifully in birdlife, is rare in today's publishing world. Poetry in print seems, for most writers and readers, the domain of small presses, academic publishing, ephemeral zines or online journals or blogs.
Publication Type: Review
Source of Publication: Landscapes, 5(1), p. 119-121
Publisher: International Centre for Landscape and Language
Place of Publication: Australia
ISSN: 1448-0778
Field of Research (FOR): 200502 Australian Literature (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Literature)
HERDC Category Description: D3 Review of Single Work
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Appears in Collections:Review
School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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