Home is where you start from, but where is a swallow’s real home? And what does ‘native’ mean if the English oak is an immigrant from Spain?
In ninety richly varied poems and illuminating prose interludes, Ruth Padel’s original new book weaves science, myth, wild nature and human history to conjure a world created and sustained by migration – from the millennia-old journeys of cells, trees, birds and beasts to Geese battle raging winds over Mount Everest, lemurs skim precipices in Madagascar and wildebeest, at the climax of their epic trek from Tanzania, braving a river filled with the largest crocodiles in Africa.
Human migration has shaped civilisation but today is one of the greatest challenges the world faces. In a series of incisive portraits, Padel turns to the struggles of human displacement – the Flight into Egypt, John James Audubon emigrating to America (feeding migrant birds en route), migrant workers in Mumbai and refugees labouring over a drastically changing planet – to show how the purpose of migration, for both humans and animals, is survival.
‘A prodigy, a book of wonders. Wonder, pity and terror, the searing section of voices in transit coercing compassion – and beyond that, empathy’ – Independent
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Grimoire by Robin Robertson£14.99
From one of our most powerful lyric poets, this is a book of curses and visions, gifts both desired and unwelcome, characters on the cusp of their transformation – whether women seeking revenge or saving their broken children, or men trying to save themselves.
40 Sonnets by Don Paterson£10.99
This new collection from Don Paterson, his first since the Forward prize-winning Rain in 2009, is a series of forty sonnets. Some take a more traditional form, some are highly experimental, but what these poems share is a lyrical intelligence and musical gift that has been visible in his work since his first book of poems, Nil Nil, in 2009.