Friday, July 12, 2013

VALERIE WORTH POEMS ABOUT BIRDS

Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Michelle at Today's Little Ditty for Roundup.

I am out adventuring today but wanted to leave you with some more Valerie Worth poems. What poet doesn't love birds?? For more Valerie, please see the left sidebar for other posts in this series, which I will continue through the summer.

heron

Only
Fools
Pursue
Their Prey.

Mine
Comes to
Me, while
I stand and
Reflect;

Quick silver
Visions
Swimming into
My glassy
Reverie,

Seized
By a mere
Nod of
My wise
Beak.

- Valerie Worth

The magic years of my childhood were spend in a ranch-style house in Folsom, LA, just across Lake Ponchartrain from New Orleans. Lots of herons in those boggy, coastal parts! I remember trips to the Audubon Zoo and lots of father-daughter dates to wonderful restaurants (that surely contributed to my foodie-love today!). Here's a picture of John James Audubon's Louisiana Heron (from BIRDS OF AMERICA).


crows

When the high
Snows lie worn
To rags along
The muddy furrows,

And the frozen
Sky frays, drooping
Gray and sodden
To the ground,

The sleek crows
Appear, flying
low across the
Threadbare meadow

To jeer at
Winter's ruin
With their jubilant
Thaw, thaw, thaw!

- Valerie Worth

One of my most favorite childhood books MRS. FRISBY AND THE RATS OF NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien includes Jeremy the crow. (This could explain why a current wip of mine includes a pet crow.)


robins

Look how
Last year's
leaves, faded
So gray
And brown,

Blunder
Along
like flimsy
Flightless
Birds,

Stumbling
Beak over
Tail
Before
The wind.

But no,
Wait:
Today
They right
Themselves,

And turn
To the
Stout slate
And ruddy
Rust

Of robins,
Running
On steady
Stems across
The ground.

- Valerie Worth

Robins compared to leaves! How wonderful! And here is a pic my sister took of a robin's nest in her yard.



pigeon

The pigeon shed
is hot, and smells
Of dust and corn;

Pigeon-voices
Bubble, wings scuffle
Above our heads;

We are allowed
To touch the throats
Of the young squabs:

The sink and shift
Like beanbags, heavy
With grain, and warm.

- Valerie Worth

All I can think of when I read this poem is Barbara O'Connor's wonderful book ON THE ROAD TO MR. MINEO'S, which features Sherman the one-legged pigeon. :)



sparrow

Nothing is less
Rare than
One dust-
Colored sparrow
In a driveway
Minding her own
Matters, pottering
Carelessly, finding
Seeds in the tire-
Flattened weeds:
But because
She can dare
To let us watch her
There, when all
The stately robins
Have fled
Scolding into
The air, she
is as good a bird
As anyone needs.

- Valerie Worth

I love the start of this poem... and isn't it a great reminder that even the commonplace things among us deserve recognition? Also, it reminds me of one of my favorite books of all time -- THE SPARROW by Mary Doria Russell. I have read this book several times and get something new out of it every time. LOVE!

Stay tuned...I will be back next week to share about my adventures!

16 comments:

  1. "snows lie worn to rags" Each week I say I love this post, too, Irene, but this time, I do love birds, especially crows. I never tire of watching their antics, and again, Valerie Worth's words entertain beautifully. One wants to say, "yes, exactly right!" about her descriptions. Your additions are lovely, too, that baby bird photo is awesome! And I love Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH-just re-read it this year and recommend it often. Thanks for a lovely experience this am!

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    1. Thank you, Linda... it's no wonder birds pop up in poems all the time -- kind of makes it tough to be original, but don't we poets love a challenge?! Glad to know another Mrs. Frisby fan! xo

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  2. My favorite of these has got to be the heron-- love the arrogance and self-assuredness of that poem's voice. Looking forward to hearing about your adventures next week!

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    1. Hi Michelle - I like that heron too. :) Thanks for reading!

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  3. I love the weaving of your poems with children's fiction that involve birds. Worth is one of my favorite poets and Mrs. Frisby is one of my favorite books, but I was not familiar with On the Road to Mr. Mineo's - just put it on hold at my library! Thanks for the great post today, Irene! =)

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    1. Yay for Mrs. Frisby! And yes, you will love Mr. Mineo. Barbara O'Connor is brilliant. Thanks for reading.

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  4. How the pigeons bubble! Yes! Thank you for your thoughtful selections, Irene. Safe adventuring!

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    1. Keri, hello and how are you? I keep waiting for you to post a bunch of original buzzing bee poems.... maybe?? Hope you are well. xo

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  5. Thank you for another great collection of poems and assorted connections!

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    1. Thanks, Mary Lee, for reading. Valerie Worth reminds me that the simplest thoughts and emotions can be wonderfully moving. Her work makes me want to write and write! xo

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  6. Again, I am loving how you have pulled these poems together. Absolutely perfect! And I love all the connections you have made. Thanks so much!

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    1. Thank you, Carol, for stopping by! xo

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  7. Irene, have you read Gary Schmidt's book Okay for Now? Each chapter has an Audubon painting, and the paintings are part of the story. Great book! Thanks for the Valerie Worth poems -- I am really enjoying them.

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    1. Ruth, OKAY FOR NOW was one of my two fave books the year it came out! (The other was A MONSTER CALLS by Patrick Ness) I totally should have mentioned it here, so I am especially glad you did. Thank you! xo

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  8. Irene,
    I love Valerie Worth poems so was excited to stop by your post. Then to find a collection of bird poems made it even better. Of course, I will remain partial to the heron poem. I am intrigued by this majestic bird.

    Cathy

    P.S. sorry if this comment posted twice. I am still trying to figure out commenting from Feedly.

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    1. Cathy, that heron is something, isn't it?! Thanks for stopping by. xo

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