Where the Redwing Sings is a spiritual hike through the great American nature scene, its struggling remainders, the ghosts of its former glory, and the fading promise of its dubious future. A nature lover can’t read this book without both feeling a lump in the throat and rejoicing in its splendid prose and poetry. These scintillating literary snippets and cuttings are either collected from nature loving giants of the past or are convincingly invented by Ed Kostro. He also gathers an impressive array of data facts, and then artistically narrates this wondrous perambulation through the fascinating world of earth’s pressured non-human denizens.
The back cover copy reads: “A book of nature inspired poems and essays, written from the heart and soul of a life-long nature, animal, and wilderness lover, and dedicated to today’s children. The words and thoughts expressed in this book reflect both an ardent love of our natural world, and a profound sadness at its modern day demise.”
Ed Kostro has been featured in Catholic Digest, Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul, Cats Do It Better Than People, The Almanac for Farmers & City Folk, Pets: Part of the Family, and Pet’s Life. He has now published six books, including Curious Creatures-Wondrous Waifs, My Life With Animals (awarded a Certificate of Excellence in the 2004 International Cat Writer’s Association Communications Contest), and Through Katrina’s Eyes, Poems From an Animal Rescuer’s Soul (2006 Merial Corporation Human-Animal Bond Award).
Along with Ed, I cry at the wanton losses occurring at every turn in the natural world. This book in many ways encapsulates the conscience of naturalists and naturalism. But as wonderful an impression as this little book made on me, I do have one critical complaint — the same that I have with many, if not most, of my fellow nature enthusiasts. I’m not sure I would entirely blame “greedy corporations” for the decline of the natural world. I think we have to look to the sources of their business to find the real culprits. But that is the subject for a different article.
With this critique stated, let me urge the reader to acquire Where the Redwing SIngs and enjoy its haunting beauty for a nature guided emotional experience. I give it four and a half stars.
© 2008 R. Leland Wald.rip