‘In the Orchard’ is not so much a collection of poems about birds as a book of memories and rare moments in which a number of familiar birds have played a spark-like role in bringing poems about. They are chiefly lyrical in character and range in time from ‘Resurrection’ written over fifty years ago to recent poems like ‘The Bully Thrush’, but they are not ordered chronologically and shouldn’t be associated with events in the poet’s private life. The etchings by Alan Turnbull are the result of his patient and painstaking study of each bird as it relates to the poem in which it appears.
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