Sunday, August 02, 2009

Your Sunday Morning Poem

Lyanda Lynn Haupt opened her wonderful new book with this poem by Mary Oliver. The book is “Crow Planet; Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness,” (Little, Brown and Company, 2009) and is very fine indeed.

And from the book, “Ravensong; A Natural and Fabulous History of Ravens and Crows” by Catherine Feher-Elston (Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin 2005), Feher-Elston writes of the story of the Haida people, “After their emergence from the clamshell with the encouragement of Raven, the Haida became a mighty people. They developed fine villages and carvings that told stories of their emergence and the history of their clans and families. Raven taught them to cure sickness with herbs and songs and magic. They made prayers to Raven, and continue to do so to this day. They know that Raven is the Creator of the World, they know that the world goes through many cycles. They know that the time of Human Beings may not last forever but that Raven the Transformer, Raven, Bringer of Light, is one who is, was and always will be.”


From a single grain they have multiplied.
When you look in the eyes of one
you have seen them all.

At the edges of highways
they pick at limp things.
They are anything but refined.

Or they fly out over the corn
like pellets of black fire,
like overlords.

Crow is crow, you say.
What else is there to say?
Drive down any road,

take a train or an airplane
across the world, leave
your old life behind,

die and be born again –
wherever you arrive
they’ll be there first,

glossy and rowdy
and indistinguishable.
The deep muscle of the world.


Bev. De Witt-Moylan said...

"Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" by Wallace Stevens

Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird.

I was of three minds,
Like a tree
In which there are three blackbirds.

The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.
It was a small part of the pantomime.

A man and a woman
Are one.
A man and a woman and a blackbird
Are one.

I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.

Icicles filled the long window
With barbaric glass.
The shadow of the blackbird
Crossed it, to and fro.
The mood
Traced in the shadow
An indecipherable cause.

O thin men of Haddam,
Why do you imagine golden birds?
Do you not see how the blackbird
Walks around the feet
Of the women about you?

I know noble accents
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
But I know, too,
That the blackbird is involved
In what I know.

When the blackbird flew out of sight,
It marked the edge
Of one of many circles.

At the sight of blackbirds
Flying in a green light,
Even the bawds of euphony
Would cry out sharply.

He rode over Connecticut
In a glass coach.
Once, a fear pierced him,
In that he mistook
The shadow of his equipage
For blackbirds.

The river is moving.
The blackbird must be flying.

It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The blackbird sat
In the cedar-limbs.

Churadogs said...

Wonderful. Thank you.