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Book Review: A Bird Black As The Sun California Poets
on Crows and Ravens Edited by Enid Osborn
 & Cynthia Anderson

08/01/2012 04:18PM ● Published by Denise Brown

Book Review By Delphine Lucas

Crows and Ravens are the all- pervasive birds found everywhere inhabited by humans—and every- where not inhabited by humans. These are the “in-your-face” birds, big, loud, and black—very black. These birds are metaphors for poets, those people who watch, listen, and try to understand the forces of nature, magic, time, and color, and use juxtapositions of words in our slippery English language to paint pictures of a frozen moment in time, a feeling of a moment of time and of timelessness.

Who are these birds? What do they mean? Where do they come from and what are they part of?

In this anthology on ravens and crows, you will enter into the thoughts and experiences of nearly a hundred poets on these elusive birds. These poems were categorized by the editors of this collection. They read submissions for a year and divided the poems into Awakener, Enigma, Muse, Beloved, Omen, Presence, Likeness, Joker, Messenger, and Night-Bringer.

Some poets shared experiences of being annoyed by these birds, some shared their friendships with them and spoke as if they were the birds them- selves, others shared their fear, and still others were simply entertained by them. As all good poetry and literature does, it invites the reader to participate, to look at oneself and ask the question, what does this mean to me?

This summer I spent time in high places in Joshua Tree National Park removing graffiti from rock art sites, sometimes watching the ravens above and below me in flight. How do they make me feel?

Read this book. I’m not a poet, yet I love the poetry of language and its power to give us incredible meaning in our lives. I like to let the poets do it for us, to tell us about crows and ravens.

– Delphine Lucas

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