Bird Poems

Birds inspire poets.  There is no single explanation as to why. The way birds look, the way birds act, and the way birds sing are each reason enough to explain why a plethora of poets have put pen to paper, inspired by avian actors.  Here at 10,000 Birds we too are inspired by birds, though our inspiration is more often channeled towards prose.  Nonetheless, we often write about the bird poetry of others and, on occasion, we have been known to versify a bit ourselves.

This page is meant to be the jumping off point for those who wish to dig into the poetry-related archives of 10,000 Birds.  Feel free to check back on occasion as we constantly add new material in the category of Inspiration.  Do you have a suggestion for a poem we should write about?  Feel free to leave a note in the comments.  Before you begin to look through our exploration of the intersection of birds and poetry let me leave you with this quote from Bai Juyi’s “Hearing the Early Oriole” (as translated by Arthur Waley):

The bird’s note cannot really have changed;
All the difference lies in the listener’s heart.
If he could but forget that he lives at the World’s end,
The bird would sing as it sang in the Palace of old.

Just as the oriole’s song is dependent upon the listener for meaning so too is poetry dependent on the reader.  Perhaps it is therefore a natural affinity that poets express in their avian verses.  Either way, there is a natural affinity between bird bloggers and bird poems.

Up until now one had to wander about 10,000 Birds to find our posts about poems but here they are, all in one place for your reading pleasure.  So sit back, relax, and enjoy these posts about birds and verse, two of the most wonderful ways to waste away a day.

Posts About a Particular Poem

William Blake’s “The Birds”
William Cullen Bryant’s “Robert of Lincoln”
John Burrough’s “The Bluebird”
John Clare’s “In Summer Showers a Skreeking Noise is Heard”
Emily Dickinson’s “A Bird Came Down the Walk”
Emily Dickinson’s “October”
Emily Dickinson’s “The Robin is the One”
Robert Frost’s “The Oven Bird”
Goethe’s “March”
Gerald Manley Hopkins “The Windhover”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “Birds of Passage”
Mary Howitt’s “The Coot”
James Russell Lowell’s “The Vision of Sir Launfal”
Ogden Nash’s “The Grackle”
Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”
Carl Sandburg’s “Purple Martins”
Wallace Stevens’ “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”
Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s “The Eagle”
Walt Whitman’s “To the Man-of-War-Bird”
William Butler Yeats’ “The White Birds”

Poetic Stylings of 10,000 Birds Bloggers and Readers

“Kinglets Come and Go” by Mike Bergin
“BP Oil Spill: A Response in Doggerel” by Corey Finger
“Bird Haiku” by Corey Finger
“Berry Go Round #33” by Mike Bergin
“Ode to Birders” by Robert Gallardo
“Ode to Mud” by Corey Finger
“10,000 Birds Plus 2, or, Another Dose of Doggerel” by Corey Finger
Bird Limericks by a variety of readers
“Birding Gulper See (In Verse!)” by Corey Finger
“Bird Doggerel” by Corey Finger

Reviews of Poetry Publications

Review of The LBJ: Avian Life Literary Arts
Review of Bright Wings
Review of A Spicing of Birds

Song Lyrics

“Blue Jay Way” by The Beatles
“Blackbird” by The Beatles