Author(s): Simon Armitage
Birds are the most obvious wild things we have around us. They are much watched and much loved, not least by poets. Bird poetry is as old as British poetry itself, and a remarkable number of poets have written poems about birds. Indeed some of the most famous poems in the language concern birds, from Keats' nightingale and Shelley's skylark to Yeats' swans and Hardy's thrush. In this wonderful anthology poet Simon Armitage and birdwatching enthusiast Tim Dee gather together the best of the past and the present, including those famous poems but also many overlooked gems. And in a fascinating divergence from standard anthology practice, the poems are organized according to ornithological classification, beginning with poems by Marianne Moore and David Wright on the ostrich and the emperor penguin and ending with Emily Dickinson and Wallace Stevens on the oriole and the blackbird.
Simon Armitage's Selected Poems appeared in 2001, and in 2007 he published a highly praised translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. He has written two volumes of memoir about living in the north for Penguin: All Points North and Gig. He lives in Huddersfield. Tim Dee is a BBC radio producer based in Bristol. He has written The Running Sky, a memoir of his birdwatching life.