21 June 2018

Poetry Thursday - two little poems about birds

A lovely little book I found on the shelf -  celebrating "100 years of books in the Saison Poetry Library" (2012). Mary Kuper took a quotation by Joseph Brodsky as a starting point:

"Poetry is a dame with a huge pedigree, and every word comes practically  barnacled with allusions and associations."

She followed his resonant words "back to their origins and sideways to the stories they tell and that are told about them" ... and into the hands of poets, where they "accrete yet more layers, creating hybrid images as complex as the medieval barnacle" - so that "the illustrations, linked to the etymological excavations, suggest the play - conscious or unconscious - between the words poets use and the meaning buried in their forgotten roots and histories."


On guard and at rest at the same time,
the right claw planted in the earth, a rock
in its left that falls if it sleeps. A stone
in its bill to keep it from singing its dreams.

The wherewithal of a crane, its own sentry,
pinning the land to the land with its foot,
A crane, lifting the lid of the town, pulling the plug.
The city centre swinging from a crane's hook.

-- Simon Armitage


A crow in fancy dress
tricked out in pink and russet
with blue and black and white accessories
lurks in a tree, managing not to squawk
his confession: 'I am not a nice bird.'

-- Fleur Adcock

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