Segments in this Video

Introduction: The Gray Heron (02:47)


Elisa New watches great blue herons at Cape Cod; she discusses the meaning of The Gray Heron and introduces her guests. E.O. Wilson, Robert Haas, Laura McPhee and Joel Wagner recite the poem by Gallway Kinnel.

Inventive Heron (02:02)

Haas considers the perspectives of other living creatures; Wilson describes his desire for discovery. New and guests discuss the American spelling of "gray," in consideration of the bird's exclusive existence.

Perspectives (03:53)

McPhee asserts that the poem is about observation; wildlife sanctuary students describe the awkward movement of a heron; Haas and New compare cadence to motions. Wilson explains the scientist's mind; McPhee relates poetry to photography as she takes pictures outdoors.

Aesthetic Surprise (03:53)

New and guests discuss the expectation defying transformation of the heron; they consider mistaken identity and metaphor. They deliberate Kinnel's description of the lizard's ill-fitting skin.

Time Traveling (03:03)

Wilson asserts that The Gray Heron describes evolution. New and McPhee consider the transition from lizard to rock to represent geological time and acceptance of science.

Metaphor (03:50)

New and guests discuss themes of change, surprise and animism; she refers to the transformation of subjects in Ovid's Metamorphoses. She and McPhee refer to spiritualization of the inanimate. Wilson explains the evolution of human intelligence through language development.

Self-Projection (04:40)

The narrator of "The Gray Heron" is watched by the same lizard described, and considers its perspective; naturalist students discuss its perceived expectations of change. Haas refers to animism and lending human qualities to non-human creatures; McPhee explains the scope of the piece. Hear guests recite the poem over watercolor animation.

Credits: The Gray Heron (00:42)

Credits: The Gray Heron

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

The Gray Heron

Part of the Series : Poetry in America
3-Year Streaming Price: $129.95



The Gray Heron by Galway Kinnell, featuring E.O. Wilson, Robert Hass, Laura McPhee, and young naturalists at the Massachusetts Audubon Society.

Length: 26 minutes

Item#: BVL168676

Copyright date: ©2017

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video, Dealer and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.