A collection of poems about extinct animals
Endlings takes us across continents and through the long expanse of aeons to give voice to the dead. In poems that are lyrical, exact, and deeply melancholic, Joanna Lilley demands audience for the final moments of animal extinction. From the zebra-horse quagga and chiding dodo, to the giant woolly mammoth and delicate Xerces Blue Butterfly, the haunting, urgent words of these “endlings” cut to the bone to expose the brutality of Nature and the devastating repercussions of human ignorance and intent, while giving hope that our humanity will help save what remains.
There’s a rumour about beauty,
its long whiskers and golden eyes,
its stripes as dark
as the moon shadows of trees.
There’s a rumour that the forest
took the beauty,
that the people who took
the forest took the beauty.
The beauty’s stripes tightened,
sliced right through – the people
said they had nothing to do with it.
The whiskers caught fire
and the golden eyes burned
Josh Brown, Portsmouth Poetry wrote:
"In Endlings, Joanna Lilley’s rich collection of lyrical and devastating poems, voice is given to the final moments of animal extinction. This book-length elegy to the planet’s lost species explores the ruinous impact humanity has had on the natural world while still managing to create wonder and hope."
"This beautifully crafted collection of poetry is a remarkable yet sad tribute to all the species and sub-species we have lost. Joanna Lilley has sent us a new wake-up call – a cri de coeur that she calls Endlings."
"When we finally emerge from our current crisis we will need to question everything about how we have lived and find new routes to our own happiness and security. “Endlings” should be essential reading in that desperate rethinking of ourselves."