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Blackbird poem

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Old Tuesday 28th April 2009, 05:57   #1
crepuscule
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Blackbird poem

I'm hoping that someone can help me here. I am trying to track down a poem that I taught to my year nine and ten students in the 1970s in Victoria, Australia. The poem was taken from a school poetry text used at the time, the name of which also eludes me. The poem is about a blackbird in a cage. The poet is enthralled by the beauty of its song. However, the next day when he goes to the cage, he finds the bird dead. I can't remember any more details than these, except to say that the poem is indescribably sad.
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Old Tuesday 28th April 2009, 06:41   #2
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Hi,

Welcome to Birdforum.

Sorry I can't help you with the poem as it is not one we were taught in the UK. It is strange how such things are remembered by us from younger days but we forget what happened a few days ago.

Can you remember a couple of lines from it, because sometimes putting them in google will bring up a result.
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Old Tuesday 28th April 2009, 08:24   #3
Apodemus
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I know it's not this one, but this is very evocative. Clearly it's not about a blackbird!

The Bird and the Tree

By Ridgely Torrence



BLACKBIRD, blackbird in the cage,
There’s something wrong tonight.
Far off the sheriff’s footfall dies,
The minutes crawl like last year’s flies
Between the bars, and like an age
The hours are long tonight.

The sky is like a heavy lid
Out here beyond the door tonight.
What’s that? A mutter down the street.
What’s that? The sound of yells and feet.
For what you didn’t do or did
You’ll pay the score tonight.

No use to reek with reddened sweat,
No use to whimper and to sweat.
They’ve got the rope; they’ve got the guns,
They’ve got the courage and the guns;
And that’s the reason why tonight
No use to ask them any more.
They’ll fire the answer through the door—
You’re out to die tonight.

There where the lonely cross-road lies,
There is no place to make replies;
But silence, inch by inch, is there,
And the right limb for a lynch is there;
And a lean daw waits for both your eyes,
Blackbird.

Perhaps you’ll meet again some place.
Look for the mask upon the face:
That’s the way you’ll know them there—
A white mask to hide the face.
And you can halt and show them there
The things that they are deaf to now,
And they can tell you what they meant—
To wash the blood with blood. But how
If you are innocent?

Blackbird singer, blackbird mute,
They choked the seed you might have found.
Out of a thorny field you go—
For you it may be better so—
And leave the sowers of the ground
To eat the harvest of the fruit,
Blackbird.
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Old Tuesday 28th April 2009, 08:26   #4
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Hi and welcome I am sorry but I don't know the poem
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Old Tuesday 28th April 2009, 08:41   #5
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Hello and welcome to BirdForum.

Geoff.
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Old Tuesday 28th April 2009, 10:49   #6
crepuscule
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Thank you to all who replied to my request, for the warm welcomes, and for your inclusion of another beautiful poem, Apodeus. Should I ever succeed in tracking down the poem I will post it for all to see. You've probably guessed that my search has been prompted by the antics of the blackbirds in my country garden and by the beauty of their song
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Old Tuesday 28th April 2009, 19:22   #7
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Hola and welcome to Birdforum.
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Old Tuesday 28th April 2009, 23:10   #8
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Hey! Welcome to BF! I am sorry I can't help with the poem, but I am sure you will enjoy your visits to the forum.
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Old Wednesday 29th April 2009, 05:21   #9
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Hi, a warm welcome and good to have you with us !
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Old Wednesday 29th April 2009, 13:16   #10
Sal
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Hi and welcome to BirdForum. This is not the poem but it could almost have been written (by Maya Angelou) in reply:

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

A free bird leaps on the back of the wind
and floats downstream till the current ends
and dips his wing in the orange suns rays and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks down his narrow cage
can seldom see through his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
of things unknown but longed for still
and his tune is heard on the distant hill
for the caged bird sings of freedom.

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
of things unknown but longed for still
and his tune is heard on the distant hill
for the caged bird sings of freedom.
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Old Thursday 30th April 2009, 11:12   #11
Francis Duggan
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Re-blackbird poem

Sorry I cannot help you on this one but Maybe you should look in the poems of John Clare as he wrote many bird poems anyway if I do come across a poem similar to the one you are talking of I will let you know.

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