A Companion for Owls NPR coverage of A Companion for Owls: Being the Commonplace Book of D. Boone, Long Hunter, Back Woodsman, &c. by Maurice Manning. News, author interviews, critics' picks and more.
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A Companion for Owls

Being the Commonplace Book of D. Boone, Long Hunter, Back Woodsman, &c.

by Maurice Manning

Hardcover, 128 pages, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, List Price: $22 |

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Title
A Companion for Owls
Subtitle
Being the Commonplace Book of D. Boone, Long Hunter, Back Woodsman, &c.
Author
Maurice Manning

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Book Summary

A collection of narrative poems by an award-winning writer is written in the voice of Daniel Boone and follows themes that evince the beauty and struggle of nascent America, tracing the frontiersman's witness to the nation's birth, observations of the natural world, loss of family, and friendship with a slave.

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Note: Book excerpts are provided by the publisher and may contain language some find offensive.

Excerpt: A Companion For Owls

On God

Is there a god of the gulf between a man
and a horse? A god who hovers above the trench
of difference? Not a god who makes us notice;
but a god who rakes his hand through the air and makes
a space neither can enter. What about
a god of animal innards? Some god
whose sole creation cleans the blood of an elk?
Perhaps there's a god of petty disaster
who breaks wagon wheels and paints clouds across
an old man's eyes. Consider the gods of flint
and primer who work side by side with the gods
of spark and steel; then there's the god of aim
and the god of near death-a god commonly praised.
Consider a god of small spaces, a fat
man's misery god, who lives in the shadow
between two rocks and sleeps on moss, content
with the smallness of his task; the god who bends
rivers, the god who flecks the breast of a hawk,
the god who plunders saltworks. I once thought
one god looked over my shoulder and measured
my steps, but now I believe that god is outnumbered
and I am surrounded by countless naked gods,
like spores or dust or birds or trees on fire,
the song, the grit, the mean seed of nakedness.


Copyright © 2004 by Maurice Manning

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work should be mailed to the following address: Permissions Department, Harcourt, Inc., 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887-6777.

On God

Is there a god of the gulf between a man
and a horse? A god who hovers above the trench
of difference? Not a god who makes us notice;
but a god who rakes his hand through the air and makes
a space neither can enter. What about
a god of animal innards? Some god
whose sole creation cleans the blood of an elk?
Perhaps there's a god of petty disaster
who breaks wagon wheels and paints clouds across
an old man's eyes. Consider the gods of flint
and primer who work side by side with the gods
of spark and steel; then there's the god of aim
and the god of near death-a god commonly praised.
Consider a god of small spaces, a fat
man's misery god, who lives in the shadow
between two rocks and sleeps on moss, content
with the smallness of his task; the god who bends
rivers, the god who flecks the breast of a hawk,
the god who plunders saltworks. I once thought
one god looked over my shoulder and measured
my steps, but now I believe that god is outnumbered
and I am surrounded by countless naked gods,
like spores or dust or birds or trees on fire,
the song, the grit, the mean seed of nakedness.


Copyright © 2004 by Maurice Manning

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work should be mailed to the following address: Permissions Department, Harcourt, Inc., 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887-6777.