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Birds, Beasts, and Seas Nature Poems from New Directions

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. . . incredibly reflective and sensual, stuffed with meaty adjectives and painted landscapes. . . . it is expertly curated, and each poem feels just right in place. In a world where it is so hard to stop and be contemplative, Birds, Beasts, and Seas demands it. . .

NPR Books

A rich, delicious treasury of nature poems from around the world — from the pastoral beauty of ancient times to the modern era’s destruction of living things.


Birds, Beasts, and Seas Nature Poems from New Directions

Edited by Jeffrey Yang

The year 2011 marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of New Directions, and what better way to celebrate than to dive into the diversity of its poets reveling in the wonders and joys of nature. Arranged chronologically by each poet’s birth, Birds, Beasts, and Seas showcases the work of over one hundred and twenty poets from the U.S. and abroad, culled from the New Directions library. Beginning with ancient Chinese, Greek, Roman, Inuit, Japanese, Indian, and Persian poets, then dipping into the Troubadours and the Renaissance, the collection gradually blossoms into a constellation of poets from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and into our present. Sappho, Neruda, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, and Lorca mix with Anne Carson, Inger Christensen, Coral Bracho, and Gu Cheng. Poems cross cultures, link, and converse in paeans to nature and its elegies; in nature’s dangers, mutabilities, and sanctuary; in its myths and scientific revelations. Also highlighted are translations by such luminaries as Samuel Beckett, John Dos Passos, T. S. Eliot, and Robert Lowell. Hidden jewels of nature await your discovery.

published April 29th, 2011
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