Was it Wordsworth who discovered the ‘real’ rural? Later, the Georgian poets celebrated its passing, giving rise to what Edward Thomas called ‘the Norfolk Jacket school of writing’. The poets of the 1930s took up politics instead, and nowadays poets are mostly urban. These scatter-shot generalisations, riddled with exceptions, are only meant as an introduction to the astonishing welter of prose books, not poetry, since the beginning of this new century, which contain the word ‘wild’ in their titles: How To Be Wild, The Wild Places, Wildwood, The Wild Trees. All these lament, either explicitly or by implication, the way we seem to have lost touch with the non-human world.Here are two more of the same kind, not about trees or places but about birds, more particularly rooks, and these have the same intention to make us look more closely at what, they assume, we might otherwise take for granted.