STEWART BEER's Introduction to AN EXALTATION OF SKYLARKS gives no hint of the huge task I himself, many years ago, of researching and culling poetry and prose 'from the rich seam of our literary heritage'.

    Spanning twenty-three centuries, 'this remarkable anthology', as RICHARD MABEY describes it in his Preface, begins with an extract from a pastoral poem by Theocritus, Third Century B.C., and ends with a description of the bird's habits and habitats, with a sombre reminder of the skylark's drastic destruction in  European countries. (The skylark is not just European. It is also indigenous to Asia and North West Africa has been introduced to Australia, New Zealand, and parts of North America by emigrants. 'Daybreak', by Japanese poet Uejima Onitsura, was written in the Seventeenth Century.)

           ISBN  0 9512619 7 5                                                        Published by SMH

The book is available directly from:
SMH books (click on this text to go to their web page).

The collection includes many well-known, as well as lesser known items, but all by writers fascinated by 5 aspects of the skylark's life. As Stewart Beer observes: 'In peace, as in war, the skylark's. joyous song enlighten the spirit'. Several striking war poems, again, not just famous ones, bear witness to this.

Mr. Beer's 'lifelong passions for natural history, the countryside and related literature have all been fused in tribute'. He is not just honouring the skylark, 'bird of bright infinity', and giving readers pleasure and information in the process. Indirectly, he throws out a challenge to all to consider the skylark's threatened extinction - and do something about it.

Poets include:

William Shakespeare  (song from 'Cymbeline')
William Blake
John Betjamin
John Milton
Alexander Pope
John Bunyan
Gerard Manley Hopkins

The Preface was written by Richard Mabey

The Downs

Oh! the downs high to the cool sky;
And the feel of the sun-warmed moss;
And each cardoon, like a full moon,
Fairy-spun of the thistle floss;
And the beech grove, and a wood dove,
And the trail where the shepherds pass;
And the lark's song, and the wind song,
And the scent of the parching grass!

John Galsworthy  (1867-1933)

Save Our Skylarks
The Nunnery
IP24 2PU

(Reg. Charity:  216652)

Hulkesmouth Publishing & Internet Services
Adur Valley
The Downs above Shoreham
Top of the Page

Enquiries to: