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APRIL IS POETRY MONTH: Blake, Auden on Our Feathered Friends
Three Things to Remember
A robin redbreast in a cage
Puts all Heaven in a rage.
A skylark wounded on the wing
Doth make a cherub cease to sing.
He who shall hurt the little wren
Shall never be beloved by men.
— William Blake
Trying to understand the words
Uttered on all sides by birds,
I recognize in what I hear
Noises that betoken fear.
Though some of them, I’m certain, must
Stand for rage, bravado, lust,
All other notes that birds employ
Sounds like synonyms for joy.
— W. H. AudenExcerpt from ON WINGS OF SONG: poems about birds. Copyright (c)2000 by Everyman Publishers plc. Excerpted by permission of Everyman's Library, a division of Random House, LLC, New York. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.