Reveling in Cans of Anchovies and Hummingbirds | Sojourners

Reveling in Cans of Anchovies and Hummingbirds

A review of ‘One Long River of Song: Notes on Wonder,’ by Brian Doyle.
Little, Brown and Company

“QUIET MIRACLES,” THAT’S what the late writer Brian Doyle calls them, those moments of wonder so freighted with significance they inscribe themselves upon our hearts. If there is a unifying thread in One Long River of Song, a posthumous collection of Doyle’s essays and prose poetry, it is this: Quiet miracles bespot our lives. They are everywhere, if only we have the patience and humility to see them as such.

Consider a shrew or a hummingbird or a can of anchovies clutched to a young boy’s sleeping chest. That’s what Doyle does. He finds miracle and mystery enough to still your heart, bring you to tears, or leave you smirking and smiling in awe. Revealing and reveling in such wonders is what Doyle does best. And he does it time and time again, in short prose poems and essays that rarely run over two pages long.

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