Padraic Colum

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

The Poet - Poem by Padraic Colum

'THE blackbird's in the briar,
The seagull's on the ground-
They are nests, and they're more than nests,' he said,
'They are tokens I have found.

There, where the rain-dashed briar
Marks an empty glade,
The blackbird's nest is seen,' he said,
'Clay-rimmed, uncunningly made.

By shore of the inland lake,
Where surgeless water shoves,
The seagulls have their nests,' he said,
'As low as catties' hooves.'

I heard a poet say it,
The sojourner of a night;
His head was up to the rafter,
Where he stood in candles' light.

'Your houses are like the seagulls'
Nests they are scattered and low;
Like the blackbirds' nests in briars,' he said,
'Uncunningly made even so.

But close to the ground are reared
The wings that have widest sway,
And the birds that sing best in the wood,' he said,
'Were reared with breasts to the clay.

You've wildness I've turned it to song;
You've strength I've turned it to wings;
The welkin's for your conquest then,
The wood to your music rings.'

I heard a poet say it,
The sojourner of a night;
His head was up to the rafter,
Where he stood in candles' light.


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010



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