SONG OF THE SKY by Guy Murchie
Kirkus Star


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Out of the invisible, intactile substance around us, the simple air, Guy Murchie has written a wonderful documentary, which stands up to comparison with Rachel Carson's The Sea Around Us and it rivals in quality St. Exupery's Wind, Sand and Stars. Mr. Murchie, a flier, draws deeply from history, mythology, poetry and the many sciences. He relates his profession of navigator to the Arabs who watched their flocks by night and were the early watchers of the skies. He tells how those who ride the winds of the sky today find closer kinship with the navigators of Columbus' day than with the modern steamship traffic. A whole chapter reveals how the sky is itself an ocean, filled with currents and wildlife of its own; in the sky, to stop is to die. Other chapters tell the stories of Wind, and of Clouds,- in mythology, in poetry and in science. Light is cast for the layman on the 4th dimension by the close comparison between the making of a calendar with its 360 odd days and navigating the globe which has 360 degrees. After detailing the phenomena of matter; thunder, electricity, hall, snow, birds in flight, ""cloudbirth"", rainbows, Mr. Murchie's philosophical musings take matter itself apart, ""Could it be that matter really exists solely to clothe our toddling thoughts, to define time and space, to educate us in fiulte things as preparation for the infinite?"" Although the book lacks the remarkable lucidity of Miss Carson's story and now and again the author seems lost in his maze of fancy to the point of disorganization, he makes throughout an exciting contribution in this poetic and scientific tribute to the sky.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1954
Publisher: Hoghton, Mifflin