December 22, 2016

Poetry Friday--Now For Something Completely Different

I've been in a blue funk since November 9, without hope of breaking through. So, for this holiday Poetry Friday I've decided to post something from a poet who is not me! Yes, indeed, there are Christmas miracles.

I wrote about Robert Francis back in October and shared two of his bird poems. Since that time, I've borrowed several other small volumes of the work of this New England poet.

Illustration from A Year with the Birds (1917) by Alice Eliza Ball and R. Bruce Horsfall (1917).

Here is another bird poem, from The Orb Weaver: Poems (1960), which is particularly relevant at this time of year:
The Seed Eaters

The seed eaters, the vegetarian birds,
Redpolls, grosbeaks, crossbills, finches, siskins,
Fly south to winter in our north, so making
A sort of Florida of our best blizzards.

Weed seed and seeds of pine cones are their pillage,
Alder and birch catkins, such vegetable
Odds and ends as the winged keys of maple
As well as roadside sumac, red-plus-seeded.

Hi! with a bounce in snowflake flocks come juncos
As if a hand had flipped them and tree sparrows,
Now nip and tuck and playing tag, now squatting
All weather-proofed and feather-fluffed on snow.

Hard fare, full feast, I'll say, deep cold, high spirits.
Here's Christmas to Candlemas on a bunting's budget.
From this old seed eater with his beans, his soybeans,
Cracked corn, cracked wheat, peanuts and split peas, hail!
And from a volume titled The Satirical Rogue on Poetry (1968) comes this little holiday gift:
The Well-made Poem

Spare me, please, the man who speaks, whether
disparagingly or approvingly, of the well-made poem.
Has he never read or heard that poems are not made
but grow--like snowflakes, like flowers, like seashells?
Has he never perceived that a true poem--like a rose,
like a goddess, like a diamond--is not made but born?

Fly over to Buffy's Blog for this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up! Happy holidays!


  1. Love the image of a poem growing like snowflakes, flowers, seashells!

  2. I love these oldies but goodies....wonderful contribution. I hope you have a good week and can break through the funk a little. We've got some work to do, woman!

    1. We do have work, but it wears you down... Still, the winter solstice has gone by and we're on our way to spring!

  3. Oh my goodness how I love this post!! What a fetching illustration you found, first of all - love those juncos. And these poems warm my heart. "Here's Christmas to Candlemas on a bunting's budget" - ha! Brilliant. (Just ordered myself a used copy of THE ORB WEAVER - thanks!)
    Since November 9, I've found solace in timeless poems and in the late night talk shows - didn't realize how much I needed the combo of thoughtfulness and snarky humor to try to make sense of things until I realized I'd stayed up for a solid week of late night perspectives after the election. :0!

    1. I love the late night talk shows, I generally watch on YouTube on the weekend.

  4. Poets like you keep me moving forward and help me find my muse. Love the collection of birds. And the wisdom of growing poems. Thanks! Happy Holidays!

    1. Thanks, Margaret, we P.F. people feed off each other's work.

  5. So love this offering, Diane! Bird poems are my favorite. Wishing you a restful and festive holiday!

  6. I love this poet's work, too, Diane, and wrote about him for Numero Cinq. Wish he had a wider audience...
    Hope you have a Merry Christmas and (fingers crossed) a happy new year.

  7. I've been in a blue funk too - thankfully I've had the opportunity to get out of town and immerse myself in new surroundings, which I really find helps me reset my spirit, as do the words of great poets! Stay strong, there's always hope.