Monday, March 29, 2010

Poems About Fiery Birds


Stalled by senescence,
Feared he'd met his quietus
Although the timing wasn't best
I wanted him to rage.

The feather's growing sicker,
Dipped in ink, but dripping quicker.
Meant for febrile fireworks flicker,
Only drab roars shock the page

There's a phoenix on my tongue
Wants to chant words that can't be sung
Weathering fast, but growing young
Closer to birth with every age.


Of Mere Being
By: Wallace Stevens

The palm at the end of the mind,
Beyond the last thought, rises
In the bronze distance.

A gold-feathered bird
Sings in the palm, without human meaning,
Without human feeling, a foreign song.

You know then that it is not the reason
That makes us happy or unhappy.
The bird sings. Its feathers shine.

The palm stands on the edge of space.
The wind moves slowly in the branches.
The bird’s fire-fangled feathers dangle down.

I read Wallace Stevenson's "Of Mere Being" for the first time today as part of my homework for poetry class. It reminded me of this poem I had written back in October. The subject matters are certainly different, but both poems use the motif of a fiery bird and have a twelve line structure. And in some ways, I think they have more in common than it appears. "Of Mere Being" addresses the need to abandon human meaning and feeling in order to simply be. In that same way, I think that humans need to abandon all fears, doubts, prejudices and other human-created feelings in order to successfully express themselves whether through writing or speaking or art.

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