How to Fly (In Ten Thousand Easy Lessons)

How to Fly (In Ten Thousand Easy Lessons)

by Barbara Kingsolver


$20.99 $24.99 Save 16% Current price is $20.99, Original price is $24.99. You Save 16%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Thursday, January 27


Notes From Your Bookseller

There are those people that can be referred to as "salt of the earth". Barbara Kingsolver's second book of poetry moves from elegant how-tos in life to the recollection of a trip to Italy to remembrances of deceased family members. After reading this book of beautiful and deeply moving poetry, we believe Barbara Kingsolver earns this title, and we think you’ll agree.

"A gorgeous collection...These poems unplug from TV and social media and the outrage of the moment and turn our attention to the immediate and the everlasting, human intimacy and the power and mystery of nature." (Tampa Bay Times)

"Kingsolver brings her gifts of observation and reflection to HOW TO FLY...For a reader wanting to escape, to fly while grounded, this book is a map that offers surprise and delight." (BookPage)

In this intimate collection, the beloved author of The Poisonwood Bible and more than a dozen other New York Times bestsellers, winner or finalist for the Pulitzer and countless other prizes, now trains her eye on the everyday and the metaphysical in poems that are smartly crafted, emotionally rich, and luminous. 

In her second poetry collection, Barbara Kingsolver offers reflections on the practical, the spiritual, and the wild. She begins with “how to” poems addressing everyday matters such as being hopeful, married, divorced; shearing a sheep; praying to unreliable gods; doing nothing at all; and of course, flying. Next come rafts of poems about making peace (or not) with the complicated bonds of friendship and family, and making peace (or not) with death, in the many ways it finds us. Some poems reflect on the redemptive powers of art and poetry itself; others consider where everything begins.

Closing the book are poems that celebrate natural wonders—birdsong and ghost-flowers, ruthless ants, clever shellfish, coral reefs, deadly deserts, and thousand-year-old beech trees—all speaking to the daring project of belonging to an untamed world beyond ourselves.

Altogether, these are poems about transcendence: finding breath and lightness in life and the everyday acts of living. It’s all terribly easy and, as the title suggests, not entirely possible. Or at least, it is never quite finished. 

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062993083
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/22/2020
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 142,280
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Barbara Kingsolver is the author of ten bestselling works of fiction, including the novels Unsheltered, Flight Behavior, The Lacuna, The Poisonwood Bible, Animal Dreams, and The Bean Trees, as well as books of poetry, essays, and creative nonfiction. Her work of narrative nonfiction is the influential bestseller Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. Kingsolver’s work has been translated into more than twenty languages and has earned literary awards and a devoted readership at home and abroad. She was awarded the National Humanities Medal, our country’s highest honor for service through the arts, as well as the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for the body of her work. She lives with her family on a farm in southern Appalachia. 

Date of Birth:

April 8, 1955

Place of Birth:

Annapolis, Maryland


B.A., DePauw University, 1977; M.S., University of Arizona, 1981

Table of Contents

1 How to Fly

How to Drink Water When There Is Wine 3

How to Have a Child 4

How to Cure Sweet Potatoes 5

How to Shear a Sheep 6

How to Fly (in Ten Thousand Easy Lessons) 7

How to Give Thanks for a Broken Leg 8

How to Survive This 9

How to Do Absolutely Nothing 10

How to Lose That Stubborn Weight 11

How to Get a Divorce 12

How to Be Married 14

How to Knit a Sweater (a Realist's Prayer) 15

How to Love Your Neighbor 16

How to Be Hopeful 17

2 Pellegrinaggio

I Pellegrinaggio 21

II The Roman Circus 22

III On the Piazza 23

IV Into the Abruzzo 24

V In Torricella, Finding Her Mother's House 25

VI Circumnavigating Torricella Peligna 26

VII Pompeii 27

VIII At the Top of Mount Vesuvius 28

IX Swimming in the Bay of Naples 29

X On the Train to Sicily 30

XI Monreale 31

XII Lemon-Orchard Blue 32

XIII The Road to Erice Is Paved with Intentions 33

XIV Palermo 35

3 This Is How They Come Back to Us

Burying Ground 41

This Is How They Come Back to Us 42

Passing Death 43

The Visitation 44

Long Division 45

My Great-Grandmother's Plate 46

Thank-You Note for a Quilt 48

My Mother's Last Forty Minutes 49

4 Walking Each Other Home

By the Roots 55

My First Derby Party 56

Snow Day 58

Six Women Swimming Naked in the Ocean 59

Courtship Dance on Playa Luria 60

Will 62

Creation Stories 64

Meadowview Elementary Spelling Bee 65

Blow Me- 66

After 67

Walking Each Other Home 68

5 Dancing with the Devil

Thief 71

Dancing with the Devil: Advice for the Female Poet 72

Cage of Heaven 73

Insomniac Villanelle 75

My Afternoon with The Postman 76

6 Where It Begins

Where It Begins 81

7 The Nature of Objects

Ghost Pipes 89

The Nature of Objects 90

Come August, a Seven-Day Rain 92

Ephemera 93

Love Poem, with Birds 94

Swimming in the Wamba 95

Cradle 96

Down Under 98

The Hands of Trees 100

Mussel, Minnow 101

Matabele 102

Great Barrier 104

Forests of Antarctica 105

Notes 109

Customer Reviews