"For The Birds", from 1980 when Dr. Paul Hiebert was 88 years-old; is the most peculiar book I've ever read but exceedingly worthwhile. I hadn't tried an essayist nor poetry analyst. That our author is additionally a humorist; catapults this study beyond my experience and broadens my spectrum. Professors would appreciate this, it would resonate with the Manitoban or Saskatchewan-born, and people prone to wry observation would grasp it too. In telling what this compilation is, Dr. Hiebert shared that he amalgamated ideas collected over time, such as articles intended for magazines that went belly-up, or hadn't fit anywhere else. He entwines his essays into three themes that are very well suited, embellished by nuggets that I for one found droll.
It is impressive to publish as a late octogenarian! That he lived to 1987 but was born in a time so archaic-seeming as 1892, is jaw-dropping. It means he gives the wealthiest possible tour of my prairie home, living when the country and province were scarcely formed and seeing too, how everything came out. It is a blessing that longevity was given to a writer and the keenest observer of life. This book remembers teaching in a single-room schoolhouse and a oneness with nature he wishes people will regain.
We tease what academics and modernists deem `art' and `progress'. A filing system for poetry was suggested, whereby codes describe the gist and the poems needn't be read! He astutely notes that comedy has become a business, overtly vulgar or derogatory; when the happenstance of life should just freely be FUNNY. My favourite is his portrayal of the typical western novel; why he prefers their geographic focus to mysteries and secretly cherishes their clichés. Dr. Hiebert, know that a girl in 2013 found your words and that I get them.