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July 16th, 2018

For a Monday, a poetry:


Never Again Would Birds’ Song Be the Same, Robert Frost

He would declare and could himself believe
That the birds there in all the garden round
From having heard the daylong voice of Eve
Had added to their own an oversound,
Her tone of meaning but without the words.
Admittedly an eloquence so soft
Could only have had an influence on birds
When call or laughter carried it aloft.
Be that as may be, she was in their song.
Moreover her voice upon their voices crossed
Had now persisted in the woods so long
That probably it never would be lost.
Never again would birds' song be the same.
And to do that to birds was why she came.


This is a late poem, written in 1942, which I came across in an anthology of bird poems. Inexplicably, I've never seen it in an anthology of love poems. This is literally Edenic, and many critics read it as an elegy for Frost's wife, who died four years before. I am very fond of the rhetorical trick of Adam's displacing his feelings for Eve onto (his perception of) the birds.

---L.

Subject quote from The Earthly Paradise, "The Ring Given to Venus," William Morris.

Originally posted at https://larryhammer.dreamwidth.org/687424.html (where it has comment count unavailable comments). You can comment here or there.

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