On Tuesday, my post referred to a poem (Spring) written by Pulitzer Prize recipient (1923), poet Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950). According to some literary sources, her sonnets are among the best of the early twentieth century. One particular poem I’ve loved many a year is not a true sonnet but still a top-notch and memorable composition in my opinion. It’s pictured below.
From the moment I first read this poem, Vincent’s ecstasy and amazement showcased in this poem made a connection with me. (I think I might have been in high school at the time.) This poem stands in stark contrast to Spring. Whereas Spring gives a contrary and cynical view of Nature, the rapture and pure pleasure expressed in God’s World supplies Vincent’s surprising yang to the yin that infuses Spring. So enraptured is Vincent in God’s World, she suggests her passion would necessarily overflow if something as simple as a bird call sounded on her ears.
When I educated my children at home, I tried to get them interested in bird-watching. In truth, I think this may be a pastime for people who have the ability to patiently wait for long periods of time just to spy a single flying creature. (Needless to say, this isn’t a description that fit my children.)
As part of our preparation, we purchased a field guide to birds as well as a loose-leaf notebook of bird illustrations. These looked to be good resources to turn my children into avid bird-watchers … or so I thought. Alas, it was not to be. Perhaps in part because the area around our home would never qualify as anything close to a bird sanctuary. We had robins, cardinals, blue jays and wrens. It didn’t take long to work through those and we failed to locate other varieties.
Now that we’ve moved further out of town, I’ve had a barn owl fly within twelve feet of me and my grandson, a hawk that lights on the roof of our outbuilding and the Eastern Meadowlarks about which I’ve previously posted.
Earlier this spring, I saw a couple birds that looked to be nesting in the October Glory maple tree outside my bedroom window. Though I’m the most amateur of photographers, I snapped a picture through the window. Since we only planted this tree two years ago, I was wondering how soon the birds would take advantage of it.
Somebody’s probably going to tell me these aren’t a variety of bird we should even want to attract to our yard. That would be my expectation. (And if that’s the case, we’ll end up with a whole flock of them, I’m sure.)
Rather than be distracted by what kind of birds these are, my mind gets involved in the creative process almost immediately … as it did in this instance. It all began with the word “treetop” and thinking of words that would rhyme with it.
With the calendar officially ushering in Summer on Saturday, I thought I’d get my Spring poem posted now instead of holding it off until next year.