I've Heard the Vultures Singing

I've Heard the Vultures Singing

Field Notes on Poetry, Illness, and Nature

eBook - 2011
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Acclaimed poet and MacArthur Foundation Fellow, Lucia Perillo, a former park ranger who loved to hike the Cascade Mountains alone and prided herself on daring solo skis down the wild slopes of Mount Rainier, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when she was in her thirties. I've Heard the Vultures Singing is a clear-eyed and brazenly outspoken examination of her life as a person with disabilities. In unwavering and witty prose, and without a trace of self-pity, she contemplates the bitter ironies of being unable to walk, what it's like to experience eros as a sick person, how to lower one's expectations for a wilderness experience, and how to deal with the vagaries of a disease that has no predictable trajectory. Masterfully written, the essays resonate with lovers of literature and nature, and with anyone who has dealt with disadvantages of the body or the hard-luck limitations of ordinary life.
Publisher: [United States] : Trinity University Press : Made available through hoopla, 2011
ISBN: 9781595340924
Branch Call Number: eBook hoopla
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: hoopla digital


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Jul 04, 2011

The voyeurism of first person narrative can be intense and disquieting, as it is from Lucia Perillo, writing about her 20 years with multiple sclerosis after a career as a naturalist and forest ranger. There is not one paragraph of sentimentality in this book. Perillo has no artifice in her nature, but instead looks at herself scientifically. She has chosen an apt quotation by Santayana to introduce her book. "Everything in nature is lyrical in its ideal essence, tragic in its fate, and comic in its existence." So what does it mean to be brave if we try not to muck it up with cheap sentiment? Isn't it Lucia Perillo remaining exactly who she is, using her considerable personal strength to remain an active poet and essayist, wheelchair trekking to observe bats, getting herself carried down a steep ravine to feel the sheltering woods again?
This is a compelling book of personal memoir, acutely observed nature studies and a quirky personality to be greatly enjoyed.


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