A Barred Owl

The warping night air having brought the boom
Of an owl's voice into her darkened room,
We tell the wakened child that all she heard
Was an odd question from a forest bird,
Asking of us, if rightly listened to,
"Who cooks for you?" and then "Who cooks for you?"

Words, which can make our terrors bravely clear,
Can also thus domesticate a fear,
And send a small child back to sleep at night
Not listening for the sound of stealthy flight
Or dreaming of some small thing in a claw
Borne up to some dark branch and eaten raw.

by Richard Wilbur

Comments (3)

A little presumptuous, I think, especially for having been written in the late 19th century when religious heresy was not that far removed from Christ's day... Don't get me wrong though, I agree with Mr. Todhunter completely. There are at least as many atrocities in this world as there are not. And if an all-powerful omnipotent being wished to torture us, wouldn't the worst torture be adding death and loss of loved ones to the mix? What can be more atrocious than that? So yes, I think God may be sinning Himself. I'm just surprised that anyone could have gotten away with saying that in 1875 without being flogged or expelled to some far away island... Other than that and on the face of it the poem itself is pretty humdrum to me....
Lovely piece on the unjustly crucifixion of Christ well articulated and insightfully penned with spiritual insight. A beautiful poem with good rhyme scheme. Thanks for sharing.
New way of thinking is needed to solve this question. The usual way of analysis will not bring any true inference to solve it with a suitable medicine!