Saturday, April 27, 2013

"The work of wings was always freedom"

Duck brothers down by my willow tree, which is only slowly leafing out--I think because it is in so much shade from the big cottonwoods. These fellows sat here for a long time. And I blessed digital photography as I took shot after shot! One of things they did repeatedly (and in unison!) was to wiggle their rumps in a short of shimmy, like the one "my sister, Kate" used to do. Mostly the iridescent-feathered male mallard head looks green, unless it looks purplish, as here, with just a nape of green.
Tonight's poem is by that masterful poet, Li-Young Lee. When I heard him read in San Jose, he was carrying a battered copy of Wallace Steven's Selected Poems on top of the manuscript he was going to read from. I was very impressed, because my own attempts to deal with Wallace Stevens (also recommended by Pat Shelley) had been brief and frustrate.

One Heart

Look at the birds. Even flying
is born

out of nothing, The first day
is inside you, open

at either end of day.
The work of wings

was always freedom, fastening
one heart to every falling thing.

From Book of my Nights, by Li-Young Lee, page 41.

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