The Warbler Road
Author: Merrill Gilfillan
Publisher: Flood Editions (2010)
In these twenty-six short essays, Merrill Gilfillan records his encounters with Wood Warblers as they flit through North American landscapes on their migratory paths. With precision, appetite, and a touch of whimsy, he sketches the tiny birds in their surroundings, perfecting the art of what he elsewhere calls "alfresco writing." Throughout, The Warbler Road testifies to birding as a meditative, even votive dedication and a fundamental mode of attention to the world: "When I walk out with binoculars in May and September, it is often the fly fisherman in Yeats's poem I have in mind as I move along the path. We are both out to discover and authenticate the morning, to break the glaze of habitude and mark, for an hour or so, the weave and fine points of the season and its day-in-place."
"A bird book for poets, precisely and evocatively observed, beautifully written. Would that such a eulogy existed for every family of birds."