In this Book

summary

Ornithologies of Desire develops ecocritical reading strategies that engage scientific texts, field guides, and observation. Focusing on poetry about birds and birdwatching, this book argues that attending to specific details about the physical world when reading environmentally conscious poetry invites a critical humility in the face of environmental crises and evolutionary history.

The poetry and poetics of Don McKay provide the primary subject matter, which is predicated on attention to ornithological knowledge and avian metaphors. This focus on birds enables a consideration of more broadly ecological relations and concerns, since an awareness of birds in their habitats insists on awareness of plants, insects, mammals, rocks, and all else that constitutes place.

Reading McKay’s work alongside ecology and ornithology, through flight and birdsong, both challenges assumptions regarding humans’ place in the earth system and celebrates the sheer virtuosity of lyric poetry rich with associative as well as scientific detail. The resulting chapters, interchapters, and concordance of birds that appear in McKay’s poetry encourage amateurs and specialists, birdwatchers and poetry readers, to reconsider birds in English literature on the page and in the field.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. 1-1
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  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
  2. pp. 2-5
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. 6-6
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  1. List of Abbreviations
  2. pp. vi-vi
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  1. Acknowledgements
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. A Note on the Cover
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Beginnings : An Introduction
  2. pp. xi-xx
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  1. PART ONE
  2. pp. 1-2
  1. Chapter One: Nesting
  2. pp. 3-14
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  1. Chapter Two: Naming
  2. pp. 15-30
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  1. Ecotone One: Field Marks
  2. pp. 31-42
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  1. PART TWO
  2. pp. 43-44
  1. Chapter Three: Homologies
  2. pp. 45-62
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  1. Chapter Four: Flight
  2. pp. 63-80
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  1. Chapter Five: Gravity
  2. pp. 81-98
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  1. Ecotone Two: Field Guides
  2. pp. 99-112
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  1. PART THREE
  2. pp. 113-114
  1. Chapter Six: Notes
  2. pp. 115-128
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  1. Chapter Seven: Birdsong
  2. pp. 129-146
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  1. Chapter Eight: Listening
  2. pp. 147-160
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  1. Ecotone Three: Field Notes
  2. pp. 161-175
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  1. PART FOUR
  2. pp. 176-177
  1. Chapter Nine: Birder-Poet
  2. pp. 177-194
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  1. Chapter Ten: Science
  2. pp. 195-214
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  1. Ecotone Four: Field Trips
  2. pp. 215-222
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  1. Ending: Ravens
  2. pp. 223-226
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  1. Appendix: Bird Concordance
  2. pp. 227-236
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 237-258
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  1. Works Cited
  2. pp. 259-276
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 277-285
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781554586479
Related ISBN
9781554586301
MARC Record
OCLC
816764410
Pages
306
Launched on MUSE
2013-10-21
Language
English
Open Access
No
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