Poetry is honey for the soul
Ellen has already contributed to this collection of poems chosen by blogger readers for other blogger readers. Her first choice was this poem by Judith Wright:
Today she suggests two poems linked by the same theme of birds. The first is well-known as it is “The Ode to a Nightingale” by Keats, read by Stephen Fry.
After the celebration and joy, there has come the reality check.
“The Way Out”
(by Fleur Adcock)
The other option’s to become a bird.
That’s kindly done, to guess from how they sing,
decently independent of the word
as we are not; and how they use the air
to sail as we might soaring on a swing
higher and higher; but the rope’s not there,
it’s free fall upward, out into the sky;
or if the arc veer downwad, then it’s planned:
a bird can loiter, skimming just as high
as lets him supervise the hazel copse,
the turnip field, the orchard, and then land
on just the twig he’s chosen. Down he drops
to feed, if so it be: a pretty killer,
a keen-eyed stomach weighted like a dart.
He feels no pity for the caterpillar,
that moistly munching hoop of innocent green.
It is such tender lapses twist the heart.
A bird’s heart is a tight little red bean,
untwistable. His beak is made of bone,
his feet apparently of stainless wire;
his coat’s impermeable; his nest’s his own.
The clogging multiplicity of things
amongst whch other creatures, battling, tire
can be evaded by a pair of wings.
The point is, most of it occurs below,
earthed at the levels of the grovelling wood
and gritty buildings. Up’s the way to go.
If it’s escapist, if it’s like a dream
the dream’s prolonged until it ends for good.
I see no disadvantage in the scheme.