The Hopes of Snakes by Lisa Couturier

The Hopes of Snakes & Other Tales from the Urban Landscape by Lisa Couturier

Beacon Press, Boston, 2005

Borrowed from my public library.

This is one of those books I discovered while browsing the shelves.  This collection of  essays written about Couturier’s time spent in New York City and the Washington, DC area, reminds me that the city is, in fact, part of nature and that our ideas of nature are human constructs.  I know this, but it is easy to forget in my day-to-day living.

In essays that range from searching for Canada goose nests on an island in the Arthur Kill to hunting for Coyotes along the Potomac River through Washington D.C., Couturier drew me into her world and reintroduced me to the snakes and crows and foxes that live beside us in our urban habitats.

Her words convey deep respect for the “natural” world, they are filled with hard truths about human behavior.   I found these essays speaking to me, summing up my spiritual philosophy, my personal religion. I loved this wonderful collection.

What if God is the hawk, is the fish in the ocean, the fowl of the air, and every living thing that moveth upon the earth?  What if God is the grass the hawk sat in and the breeze the hawk flew through?  from page 17.


Filed under Animals, Essays, Nature, Nonfiction, Review

5 responses to “The Hopes of Snakes by Lisa Couturier

  1. Sarah

    This sounds like a really good book – it sort of sounds like a book I just finished called Central Park in the Dark by Marie Winn – I highly recommend it!

  2. I’ve added the Marie Winn book to my library book list. Thanks for the tip!

  3. Lisa Couturier

    Hello! Thank you for your thoughtful review of my book. It is good to hear that the stories resonated with you and that you love the nonhuman world, all the wild ones, all the mysteries out there.

    • You are welcome, Lisa. I also enjoyed “Dark Horse” when it appeared in Orion.

      • Dark Horse was the most difficult thing I’ve ever written–took an emotional toll on me. I have a new chapbook of poems coming out this November 22, 2014, through Finishing Line Press. It’s called ANIMALS / BODIES. The reflection of one in the other, human and nonhuman. Thank you in advance, in case you have a chance to look at it! It is on my Facebook page, too :-) Lisa

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