MY BIRDER by Richard Carpenter
This is Richard Carpenter's third collection of poems. Its title is in memory of the poet's son, Nicholas, a committed bird-watcher ('birder') who was killed in a road accident while conducting a survey of of willow-tits near the farm where he lived. These poems are haunted by memories of Nicholas's work and his relationship with nature and ecology, as well as the raw grief of his father.
Richard Carpenter, after a career as a GP, is acquainted with the grief of others, but his own grief is sharp and particular, made up of detailed sensory perceptions of the absence, and often, as in the title poem, of the presence of his lost son. The collection takes us through his first suffering, through 2020’s pandemic lockdown which ‘starts at the build-up to the anniversary/ he would wish on no-one’ to a calmer phase — perhaps not acceptance, but a series of beautiful nature poems — still touched by the intense grief that will never leave the bereaved.
My Birder is published in May 2023, and is available only in the UK.
Perfect-bound paperback, 210 x 148mm, 54 pages
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