Birds Anonymous

Nathaniel Mackey


Verge Books

Birds Anonymous book cover

Nathaniel Mackey's ongoing serial epic, in which Song of the Andoumboulou and "Mu," "the two now understood as two and the same, each the other's understudy," proliferating wildly and oneirically through the course of nine books, has established itself as the poem of our time, a multiphasic, hectoring, and angelophanic rehearsal of vision and "all day music," whose summa is the magnificent Double Trio, published in 2021 and running over 1000 pages. BIRDS ANONYMOUS pre-selects installments in the epic from the not-yet-completed successor to Double Trio, the Double Quartet, assembling poems drawn from and manifesting the traits of Islamic mysticism, especially the Sufi allegory in Farid ud-Din Attar's Conference of the Birds, affording Mackey's readers a preview of the wit and the wisdom, the secrets and the paradoxes of the poetry to come.