"But when I breathe with the birds,
The spirit of wrath becomes the spirit
of blessing/And the dead begin from
their dark to sing in my sleep."
Though I knew well the strong excitement of seeing certain kinds of animals in the wild and recognizing them, care was not something I gave to birdwatching. I'd learned to spot game birds in flight from a great distance, but it was recognition defined where it began, in hunting, by which vivid life was seen, killed, and eaten. When I was younger, birdwatching seemed cold, abstract, without necessity. It was burdened by field guides. The bloodless term "identification" defined what you did. It never occurred to me back then that hunting, as I truly loved it, had become an anachronism. Read Essay
Our culture is in a state of simultaneously undergoing radical expansion and reduction in human knowledge. The sum total of our knowledge is increasing, while the field of knowledge possessed by any one individual is decreasing due to specialization. This is reflected not only in institutional settings, where teams of workplace professionals combine their islands of specialized knowledge through networked electronic systems, but in literature and poetry as well. Yet poets must strive to transcend these individualized islands of information in order to achieve meaningful artistic wholeness. Read Essay