(26 March 1859 – 30 April 1936 / Worcestershire)

Bird

It was passed from one bird to another,
the whole gift of the day.
The day went from flute to flute,
went dressed in vegetation,
in flights which opened a tunnel
through the wind would pass
to where birds were breaking open
the dense blue air -
and there, night came in.

When I returned from so many journeys,
I stayed suspended and green
between sun and geography -
I saw how wings worked,
how perfumes are transmitted
by feathery telegraph,
and from above I saw the path,
the springs and the roof tiles,
the fishermen at their trades,
the trousers of the foam;
I saw it all from my green sky.
I had no more alphabet
than the swallows in their courses,
the tiny, shining water
of the small bird on fire
which dances out of the pollen.

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Comments (5)

I must admit that I came by this terrific poem by way of one of the best TWILIGHT ZONE episodes: " The Changing Of The Guard" .
The poem raises a pertinent question, whether to fall in love and risk heartbreak, or keep love at bay and one's heart intact. I personally would go with Tennyson: Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
I've always loved this poem since I first read it & George Butterworth's setting of the poem intensifies its already great beauty.
some people fail to appreciate the wisdom
I did underline translation into the Russian language.