Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Bird Came Down the Walk: A Cento

There is a singer everyone has heard,     
Trills a wild and wondrous note,   
Knowing he has wings. 
Now he hears a footstep; wakes a sleeping power;    
A change of mood 
Unable to suck in light 
He scans me with a fearless eye.  
My incessant voice is heard  
The warping night air having brought the boom  
Like strings of broken lyres,     
But they hold no secret   
What thou among the leaves hast never known,  
Now vaguely hinted - nothing more.   
The sunlight speaks.  And its voice is a bird.  
A bubble of music floats.
Out of a sound heart and merry throat,
Is it world-old pain that wells?
Oh, tell me, art thou voice of bird or star?  
Oh that I had wings like a dove!  
Flying through the sky,  
The rushing amorous contact high in space together,  
Close to the sun in lonely lands,  
Sound the way I sound forever.  
For then I would fly away and be at rest.
Lo, then would I wander far off.
And remain in the wilderness.  
A feather on the ground -   
An indecipherable cause.    

Thanks to 's Poetic Forms Database.
Read the Bird Poems featured in this cento.

A Cento composed of lines from the following bird poems:  Emily Dickinson's A Bird Came Down the Walk (Title), Robert Frost's The Oven Bird,  Olive Thorne Miller,  Victor Hugo's The Bird, Will H. Ogilvie's The Heron, Robert Frost's Dust of Snow, Ted Hughes' Two Legends, Celia Baxter's The Sand Piper, Lucy Larcom, Richard Wilbur's  A Barred Owl, Thomas Hardy's The Darkling Thrush, R. Moore's Crows, John Keats' Ode to a Nightingale, Eben Pearson Dorr, Harry Kemp's The Hummingbird, Lucy Larcom, Ralph Waldo Emerson's Chickadee, Jennie Kiefer's Meadow-Lark!, Emily Tolman's The Hermit Thrush, Joseph Kozlowski's  Red-Winged Blackbird, Walt Whitman's The Dalliance of Eagles, Alfred Lord Tennyson's The Eagle, Timothy Donnelly's Enrique the Crow Speaks Loudly into the Tuba, Psalm 55, Gary Snyder's Magpie's Song, and Wallace Stevens' Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.