Everyone likes birds.
What wild creature is more accessible to our eyes and ears,
as close to us and everyone in the world,
as universal as a bird (David Attenborough)
Note: I had some issues with this prompt when I first posted it on Saturday. Title and links font colors changed to an awful neon blue and, no matter how I tried, I couldn't correct them. After much "fiddling" about, and some great advice from our friend Diane Lockward, I deleted the post and have redone it. The blog seems to have "righted" itself, and all seems okay. I apologize to those of you who left comments, which were lost with the first post. Maybe you won't mind re-posting them? Thanks, dear readers, for your patience!________________________
I’ve always loved birds (they appear frequently in my poems), and I raised small exotic birds for many years. Although I don't have any exotics living in the house with me now, I feed the backyard birds, especially during the cold months, and I always look forward to seeing them—from the nondescript sparrows to the brilliant cardinals.
This week, I’d like you write create a poem in which you direct your comments (a kind of monologue) to a bird. You may be serious or humorous, but the idea is to come up with a theme that somehow relates to or juxtaposes bird life and human life. For example, some possible themes might include freedom, flight/flying, providing for children, and not wanting to be caged (literally or figuratively).
Think of all the bird species you know and select one (i.e., sparrow, lark, robin, canary, zebra finch, parrot, macaw, hawk, egret, heron, mourning dove, early bird, night owl, phoenix, stork).
Make a list of things that you might say to a bird—work toward a single theme and stick to that theme.
Write a poem in which you talk to a bird-member of the species you chose.
An alternative might be to address comments to more than one bird (that reminds me of the story about St. Francis of Assisi and how he preached to a flock of birds).
Or, you might want to try a conversation with a bird in which you and the bird speak to one another (dialogue rather than monologue).
You may prefer a humorous approach and address a bird that dropped a little “something” on your shoulder or head, the stork that delivered your son or daughter, the crow that stole a piece of your jewelry, or the parrot (parakeet) that learned a few naughty words.
Think in terms of no more than a 12-15 lines.
Don’t spend a lot of time in describing the bird—focus on what you have to say to it.
Depending on which source you consult, you’ll find that various birds are symbolic of different qualities. Here are a few general ideas:
Doves symbolize peace.
Eagles symbolize power, resurrection, and courage.
Cranes symbolizes long life and immortality.
Falcons symbolize protection.
Nightingales symbolize love and longing.
Sparrows symbolize hope, gentleness, and intelligence.
Swans symbolize gracefulness and beauty.
Herons symbolize self-reliance and determination.
Hawks symbolize guardianship, illumination, and truth.
Woodpeckers symbolize magic and prophecy.
Robins symbolize joy, hope, and happiness.
Cardinals symbolize loved ones who have passed.
Crows symbolize trickery, cunning, and theft.