cover image For the Good of All, Do Not Destroy the Birds

For the Good of All, Do Not Destroy the Birds

Jennifer Moxley. Flood Editions, $18.95 (200p) ISBN 978-1-7332734-6-6

Poet Moxley (Druthers) mixes memoir and criticism in a meditative series of essays that chart the “bird soul” that lives in her, as well as avian imagery in poems by Thomas Hardy, Charles Baudelaire, and John Keats. “Woman or Swan” examines Plato’s The Republic, and asserts that it’s “preferable to live any life as a bird than enter the world through the body of a woman,” while in “The Weariness, the Fever, and the Fret,” she marvels at the fame of Keats’s Nightingale poem and his ability to make readers constantly think of death. “The All-Day Bird” is an enlightening reading of Denise Levertov’s poem “Claritas,” and “Emilie” movingly covers the loss of her “truly joyful companion,” a blue budgie. Moxley’s prose is always on point, and each chapter contains provocative ideas about poetry and life more broadly: “all the time I had longed for solitude, what I really wanted was a little privacy.” This is a lyrical treat. (Sept.)