Review: The Bird-while

The Bird-while

Keith Taylor

Wayne State University Press

Science now tells us birds use a special light nerve to navigate, that birds see ultraviolet light even more than they perceive the visual light range we rely on. So, not being a bird, it would be easy to miss what a bird sees. But what if you could be a bird? A bird seeing another bird or a bear, or a person, even, and report back on the encounter for non-birds? In The Bird While, Keith has captured the fear of hollow bones, the whimsy of flight, the solitude of a quiet forest punctuated by a union of song and sun.

The Bird-while isn’t just a meter of time, it’s a pacing, the perception of time passing at a rate in which our senses are heightened and our memory is made supple. In the right light, the right pacing, we are transfixed, both outwardly observing and inwardly alive. In the spirit of the Romantics and the Transcendentalists, Keith pins “moments [that] felt significant” to our minds eye without a hanging reason there.

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