Quills and Feathers

Bird Poem II

a junco must be a quiet one

when the dark shell comes, must

close eyes, wings against the cold

then white light breeze—up to sing can sing

andsingcansingand thank the thawed

brink of a puddle for a quick drinkandsing

down to hard snow ground for scattered

seed singand seed singandseed and

back to the hard snow pine to sing thanks sing

as the white light breeze slightens,

less busy—preen a wing—last burst of

sing—until all soft, and still, and warm

then a junco must be silent

when the dark shell comes, then i must

close my eyes; my wings; against the cold

Junco, Dark-Eyed

Junco hyemalis

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One is slightly pleased by the poet's attempt here to imitate the junco's high-pitched sibilance with the alliterative s's, and the speed of the bird's call by the run-together words. But that trick gets old, and the final point-of-view "surprise" that it is the junco itself speaking seems pointless, since the privileging of such an insignificant species is ultimately inane in its very premise. Frankly, I'd hate to have to read "Bird Poem I," and I certainly hope that Mr. Gannon stopped at "II."

Bibliographical information

Author: Gannon, Thomas C.

Book: Nebraska Presence: An Anthology of Poetry

Date: 2007

Publisher: Backwaters Press

Project Information

Genre: Poetry