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"Awen yn codi o'r cudd ac yn cydio'r cwbl"
- Waldo Williams
(Awen arising from hiding and everything binding)



BLACKBIRD


Granny's Bonnets (Aquilegia)

A Blackbird Chick

...ran out of the undergrowth
where garden runs to wildness,
then scuttled back again.

For weeks the parent sang
from the branches of an oak,
spelled out an arc of protection

around the nest, hidden here below
in a tangle of ivy, under Granny’s Bonnets
and a spiny quince by the garden path.

It was a song that held the spring
of the year in every quavering note,
releasing the summer so this chick

discovers the world awaiting each new life
finding a way through the bushes and briars
out into the open and endless sky.


Quince

2 comments:

  1. A tender seasonal ode, so full of the nurturing vivacity found in nature. I think because of the stress put on springtime and summertime, upon first reading I felt the urge to meander in reminiscences on the best aspects of all the year’s seasonal specific highlights, and how it makes me feel: yellowy autumn and Halloween, watery white Christmas time with friends and family gatherings round laden tables, and so forth.

    Upon a second reading with more care taken to scrutinize the words of the poet, the reader finds, I think, that the garden tableau craftily conceals a familiar voice.

    The contrasting effect of wild and manicured landscape running into one another, or one upon the other, and also retreating one from the other is an interesting and perplexing image. The blackbird chick is an animal, but the garden “runs” too.

    Introduced from the rubric the blackbird chick seems to personify youth and curiosity. The “parent sang/ from the branches of an oak,” highlights the chick’s only now burgeoning sense of independence, and prior complete need for fostering. Indeed, the warble of the parent might as well be a lullaby. This is where a transmutation takes place. “Spelled out an arc of protection/ around the nest,” calls to mind a cradle, while “Granny’s Bonnets/ and a spiny quince by the garden path.” recall the various paraphernalia of the nursery: plush things, dangling mobiles, and the like. But the little bird must venture out of the garden-nursery, summer is fast approaching and the “endless sky” beckons.

    Those have been my own readings, the abiding examination of nature in your writing is a great deep dive.

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