July/Aug 2022 • Vol. XLIV No. 4 Nonfiction |

The Scarlet Macaw: A Note

The Kenyon Review · Two Poems and a Note by Sandra Meek To see a scarlet macaw in flight, long tail feathers fanned out, streamlined scarlet body brilliantly set off by the sapphire and gold of the bird’s powerful wings, skimming the forest canopy; or to see a pair perched, swishing their tail feathers and chattering together, on a high limb of a quamwood tree in Belize’s Chiquibul Forest—is to never again be able to see a caged macaw, coveted by collectors for their beauty as well as their ability to learn human speech, without feeling a mixture of wonder and grief. Highly intelligent, curious, and social birds, scarlet macaws pair-bond, mating for life and staying close together even when joining the larger family groups they are often seen in. One of the largest species of parrots, with a length approaching three feet or more, a scarlet macaw can fly thirty-five miles per hour and will fly up to fifteen miles in a typical day. Ara macao cyanopterus, the Central Am

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Photo of Sandra Meek

Sandra Meek is the author of six books of poems, most recently Still (Persea Books, 2020), named a New & Noteworthy Poetry Book by The New York Times Book Review. A recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in Poetry and the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, she has three times been awarded Georgia Author of the Year in Poetry and twice the Peace Corps Writers Award in Poetry. Dana Professor of English, Rhetoric, and Writing at Berry College, Meek is also poetry editor of the Phi Kappa Phi Forum.

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The Scarlet Macaw

By Sandra Meek

The Kenyon Review · Two Poems and a Note by Sandra Meek To see a scarlet macaw in flight, long tail feathers fanned out, streamlined scarlet body brilliantly set off […]

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