Book summary: Shaler's Fish

1997 BY HELEN MACDONALD

In robust, lyrical verse, Shaler's Fish roams both the outer and inner landscapes of the poet's universe, seamlessly fusing reflections on language, science, and literature, with the loamy environments of the natural worlds around her. Moving between the epic—war, history, art, myth, philosophy—and the specific—CNN, Ancient Rome, Auden, Merleau-Ponty—Macdonald examines with humor and intellect what it means to be awake and watchful in the world. These are poems that probe and question, within whose nimble ecosystems we are as likely to encounter Schubert as we are "a hand of violets," Isaac Newton as a "winged quail on turf." Nothing escapes Macdonald's eye and every creature herein—from the smallest bird to the loftiest thinker—holds a significant place in her poems.

This is an unparalleled collection from one of greatest nature writers, and a poet of dazzling music and vision.

Back to biography of Helen Macdonald

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