WINGS OF THE MORNING by Julia Cunningham


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Adumbrated in words that are not childlike is an experience unlike that of most children -- who, finding an inert bird by the roadside, assume it to be hurt or dead and react fearfully or protectively according to their nature. But this bare-footed, blue-jeaned, otherwise otherworldly youngster, feeling her aloneness on the wide road, thinks that it is sleeping, "waiting there for me all morning." It "needs someone to fly beside it" -- and so she spreads its wings and tosses it into the air. Immediately it falls and she is devastated, to recover only in the security of her father's arms. Manifestly metaphorical, this is nonetheless problematic: was the bird dead at the outset? if wounded, would she not unwittingly have killed it? These are the questions that would occur to a child, and the fact that the photographer's daughter is the gift to whom this happened does not answer them. Indeed, the simulation -- i.e. photographic recreation -- of such intense reality is itself suspect. And, coupled with the poeticizing, ineffectual by comparison with the creative simplicity of the Brown-Charlip Dead Bird.
Pub Date: March 1st, 1971
Publisher: Golden Gate
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1971


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