Earth’s Wild Music: Celebrating and Defending the Songs of the Natural World

Counterpoint. Feb. 2021. 256p. ISBN 9781640093676. $26. NAT HIST
You have to just listen. Philosopher Moore (Great Tide Rising) invites focused attention in a collection of her essays that mourn the loss of natural songs and urge others to save the remaining ones for future generations. (“Song” isn’t necessarily a bird’s trill, but water flowing over rocks or the wind cutting through the trees.) As she explains, each song is part of a larger, beautiful harmony. With the damage or loss of one voice, there is discord. Moore’s writing is an interesting mixture of wonder and reality. She details her observations in nature, such as lying next to an eagle’s carcass to capture his last glance on earth, then ends each essay with a gut-punching paragraph of the dangers these animals or settings are facing. Some essays are quite poignant and will be relevant to readers, such as “Living Like Birds,” which talks about the COVID-19 pandemic. However, readers might question some of her musings. For example, the acerbic list on the definition of hope may discourage potential readers—as well as those who are looking for inspiration to help save nature’s songs.
VERDICT Fans of Moore will appreciate this collection. For others, it’s an optional purchase.

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