And, in the isolation of the sky,
At evening, casual flocks of pigeons make
Ambiguous undulations as they sink,
Downward to darkness, on extended wings.
--Wallace Stevens, from "Sunday Morning"
Through the centuries, poets have employed the image
of the bird to symbolize the deepest psychic strivings of humankind. Whether
it be via the soaring, ebullient skylark or the dark, brooding owl (but here
I already project!), the poet
has voiced both our highest ("winged") hopes and aspirations--AND
our darkest fears and deepest melancholy. What follows is an e-text
anthology of their efforts in this realm.
The poems--all on-site .txt files--are ARRANGED alphabetically according to TYPE of BIRD: I've used specific species whenever possible (e.g., JAY, BLUE), but I've resorted to generic names when necessary (e.g., SANDPIPER or SPARROW). This latter resort was due, in part, to my rather limited knowledge of non-U.S. birds, though I have performed some research into the common English species rhapsodized by Shakespeare, Wordsworth, et al.
I have most of the oft-anthologized STANDARDS here, plus many more, obscurer GEMS, including some poetry-in-translation and some light verse. The poems were CHOSEN chiefly for their literary MERIT, but I must give you fair warning: also included are some saccharine favorites from a SENTIMENTAL childhood. . . .
New--upon request, I have begun to include some original netizen contributions, indicated by an label.
-=NETIZEN NOTES (info on poem authors)
|New (5/2008)--I added bird-photo "thumbnails" (and some bird-song audio) to the POEMS page per se. (Also, this "front" page you're on is pretty obsolete; I've devoted most of my recent attention to the POEMS and SPECIES pages. . . .)|
BIRD Species/Type INDEX for yu';
--Or you poetry nuts (both of you!) can go straight to
Index & Credits
-=TO THE TOP
-=TCG's WORDSWORTH'S BIRDS PAGE (an exercise in obsessive-compulsivity)
-=TOMMY'S BIG DAY (my annotated birding outing on June 4th, 2007, in tabular format)
-=TCG's ECO-ANIMAL/ECOCRITICISM Page
-=TCG's "literary" INTRODUCTION to the UNL Digital Humanities project, BIRDS OF NEBRASKA
-=TCG's BIRD PHOTOS
-=TCG's Cartoons (most of them based upon my own bird photos--but beware: heavy anthropomorphism ahead!)
-=HOME & Quick-INDEX To TCG's WEB PAGES
-=The creator of this page can be reached at . . . firstname.lastname@example.org
His sole qualifications for this venture are
--a Ph.D. in English;
--experience as a lifelong birder;
--and a nerdy obsessive-compulsive nature.