Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Great Regulars: And that bird. That starling,

"whistling what once swallows sang." It's a commonplace that starlings are mimics, but the line calls out to something genuinely mysterious. The stolen song seems to feed off the energy transmitted by the sun, the heat radiating off the wall. The sound arcs back in time and space--something old is touched in that moment, something familiar but made strange by theft--"once" and forever--something that would be just as at home in Chaucer or the English and Scots ballads. It's uncanny. As alive then as [Edward] Thomas himself must have always wanted to be.

from Slate: Learning to Love the Poems of Edward Thomas


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