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Describes the characteristics and behavior of terns, compares and contrasts them with humans, and discusses our coexistence with the natural world.
"Hay, whose sensitive and lyrical essays on nature have charmed readers, surpasses himself with this discourse on terns."
– Publishers Weekly (04/05/1993)
"No one brings the world to our senses (and our hearts) as symphonically as John Hay. Like the shorebirds he knows so well, he is forever ahead of us, urging us on to oceanic understandings [...] More than just 'nature-writing, ' The Bird of Light is about the best distillation you can find of the kinds of attitudes that we will ignore at our peril."
– Jake Page
"John Hay, at the top of his powers, has written a great poem of the earth. He gives us the real, wild planet, threaded by long-migrating terns and ordered by the cycles of the storm and sun the birds must deal with [...] I believe The Bird of Light is one of the significant books of the year."
– Thomas J. Lyon
"Joy Hay is one of our very best essayists on the natural world, and The Bird of Light is a fine example of his work."
– Peter Matthiessen