Poetry about birds

To: "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: Poetry about birds
From: "Lawrie Conole" <>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 16:23:59 +1000
This will make some readers cringe, so apologies in advance.  A lot of
the chat here is a bit on the dry side, so let's have a few of your
favourite bird poems to lighten it up.  I'll kick off with this one
from Pablo Neruda, Chilean poet from the early-mid 20th century ...

*Slender-billed Parakeet
Enicognathus leptorhynchus*

The tree had so many leaves
it was toppling with treasure,
from so much green it blinked
and never closed its eyes.

That's no way to sleep.

But the fluttering foliage
went flying off green and alive,
each bud learned to fly,
and the tree was left naked,
weeping in the winter rain.


[Pablo Neruda (1962-5), from 'Arte de Pájaros'.
Translated from Spanish by Jack Schmidt]

Even allowing for the sometimes clunky translation from Spanish, not
too bad - it puts me in mind of a tree full of Budgerigars.

The original Spanish version is better in ways that translation will
never quite match; see for yourselves ...

Tuvo tantas hojas el árbol
que se caía de riqueza,
con tanto verde parpadeaba
y nunca cerraba los ojos.

Así no se puede dormir.

Pero el follaje palpitante
se fue volando verde y vivo,
cada brote aprendió a volar,
y el árbol se quedo desnudo
llorando en la lluvia del invierno.

Lawrie Conole
28 Reid Street
Northcote 3070 AUSTRALIA
lconole at gmail dot com

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