Padraic Colum

(8 December 1881 – 11 January 1972 / County Longford)

Song Of Starlings - Poem by Padraic Colum

WE'VE watched the starlings flocking past the statues
That we have often seen in other cities
Hope, Justice, Commerce and have heard them sing
Unvarying songs that are their memories-
Memories of winds that they've been blown by,
And rivers bordered with their beds of sedges,
And level lands on which are empty folds.
Daylight dims, and we
May not return to where a lamp
Beams, making a room familiar, and a wife
Tells of the children's doings: we hear the starlings
As we have heard them often in other cities,
Around other cupolas, along other cornices,
In sunless parks bunched on the tops of trees,
And see around us bleak, monotonous fields
Our hearts must ever hold theirs are these songs
These are the songs that most touch us exiles!


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010



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