e a m harris

Roaming the byways of literature

All One Breath

All one breath cover artYesterday I received the current book from the Poetry Book Society. It is All One Breath by John Burnside – elegant and enticing in its smart Cape Poetry off-white cover.

According to the magazine that came with it, this is the Spring 14 book. Yesterday spring was a bit of a joke, but today the sun is shining and it’s approach is a bit more believable.

The title of the book comes from a verse in Ecclesiastes (a book in the Christian bible):

For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast.

As someone concerned with animal rights, I find this verse a banner to campaign under and a comfort when I read about the dangers animals face today. I wonder why I’ve never heard of it before.

Back to the poetry. I haven’t read much of the book yet, but I can see that it isn’t all about animals. The ‘all one breath’ applies to humans too.


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