John Burnside

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It's important to have quiet time and isolation.

John Burnside

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Anyone who has ever stopped to watch a hawk in flight will know that this is one of the natural world's most elegant phenomena.

John Burnside

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It takes a true encounter to realise that real animals, wild animals, have all but passed from our lives.

John Burnside

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Sometimes, though only in my most unguarded moments, I can still think of Annette Winters as my first love. At fifteen, she was tall, slender, very dark: an intelligent, sly girl possessed of what I think of now, though I didn't think of then, as a kind of debatable beauty.

John Burnside

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If I tell you a story, you can choose to believe me, or you can question it.

John Burnside

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For a bird, especially for the more musically inventive, song is the defining characteristic, the primary way by which it knows itself and is known by others. To lose its species song is to lose not just its identity but some part of its presence in the world.

John Burnside

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Once upon a time, forests were repositories of magic for the human race.

John Burnside

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We do not need to be heroes to save the world; all we need is humility, a critical view of the commercial and political interests of those who would mislead us into wrongdoing, and a sense of wonder.

John Burnside

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In many traditions, hawks are sacred: Apollo's messengers for the Greeks, sun symbols for the ancient Egyptians and, in the case of the Lakota Sioux, embodiments of clear vision, speed and single-minded dedication.

John Burnside

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John Burnside — quotes and aphorisms

As a child, I was consumed with a near-obsessive curiosity about what the world felt like for other creatures.

John Burnside

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The woods were a boon; all too often, the forest offered danger and mystery. Yet it could be liberating. If you entered that wild place on its own terms, you might be accorded wisdom.

John Burnside

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As attractive as it is, the idea that nature can exist beyond our dangerous 'instinct for happiness' is never the whole story.

John Burnside

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If nature offers no home, then we must make a home one way or another. The only question is how.

John Burnside

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