(10 January 1887 – 20 January 1962 / Allegheny, Pennsylvania)

Birds

The fierce musical cries of a couple of sparrowhawks hunting
on the headland,
Hovering and darting, their heads northwestward,
Prick like silver arrows shot through a curtain the noise of the
ocean
Trampling its granite; their red backs gleam
Under my window around the stone corners; nothing gracefuller,
nothing
Nimbler in the wind. Westward the wave-gleaners,
The old gray sea-going gulls are gathered together, the northwest
wind wakening
Their wings to the wild spirals of the wind-dance.
Fresh as the air, salt as the foam, play birds in the bright wind,
fly falcons
Forgetting the oak and the pinewood, come gulls
From the Carmel sands and the sands at the river-mouth, from
Lobos and out of the limitless
Power of the mass of the sea, for a poem
Needs multitude, multitudes of thoughts, all fierce, all flesh-eaters,
musically clamorous
Bright hawks that hover and dart headlong, and ungainly
Gray hungers fledged with desire of transgression, salt slimed
beaks, from the sharp
Rock-shores of the world and the secret waters.

User Rating: 2,7 / 5 ( 105 votes ) 8

Comments (8)

Sharply executed, vibrantly descriptive, full of motion. I love the contrast between the fiercely darting hawks and the ungainly form of the seabirds. The brisk kinetics of the hunters busy about the necessities of life, contrasted to the mystery of the far-off places, the desires, the longings that pass far beyond the borders of daily necessities. Richly penned.
Wild birds, flying and crying, dominate the poem. I like the long, overflow lines that give more latitude and freedom to express more. The only word I question is 'gracefuller'. Maybe ' more graceful'. I
The birds fly through this great poem.
Hovering and darting, their heads northwestward, thank you for sharing the poem with us
Thus when a poet seems to be at a familiar home, variety of thoughts helps.
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