Frog Poems - Poems For Frog

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The Frog And The Nightingale - Poem by Vikram Seth

Once upon a time a frog
Croaked away in Bingle Bog
Every night from dusk to dawn
He croaked awn and awn and awn
Other creatures loathed his voice,
But, alas, they had no choice,
And the crass cacophony
Blared out from the sumac tree
At whose foot the frog each night
Minstrelled on till morning night

Neither stones nor prayers nor sticks.
Insults or complaints or bricks
Stilled the frogs determination
To display his heart's elation.
But one night a nightingale
In the moonlight cold and pale
Perched upon the sumac tree
Casting forth her melody
Dumbstruck sat the gaping frog
And the whole admiring bog
Stared towards the sumac, rapt,

And, when she had ended, clapped,
Ducks had swum and herons waded
To her as she serenaded
And a solitary loon
Wept, beneath the summer moon.
Toads and teals and tiddlers, captured
By her voice, cheered on, enraptured:
"Bravo! " "Too divine! " "Encore! "
So the nightingale once more,
Quite unused to such applause,
Sang till dawn without a pause.

Next night when the Nightingale
Shook her head and twitched her tail,
Closed an eye and fluffed a wing
And had cleared her throat to sing
She was startled by a croak.
"Sorry - was that you who spoke? "
She enquired when the frog
Hopped towards her from the bog.
"Yes," the frog replied. "You see,
I'm the frog who owns this tree
In this bog I've long been known
For my splendid baritone
And, of course, I wield my pen
For Bog Trumpet now and then"

"Did you… did you like my song? "
"Not too bad - but far too long.
The technique was fine of course,
But it lacked a certain force".
"Oh! " the nightingale confessed.
Greatly flattered and impressed
That a critic of such note
Had discussed her art and throat:
"I don't think the song's divine.
But - oh, well - at least it's mine".

"That's not much to boast about".
Said the heartless frog. "Without
Proper training such as I
- And few others can supply.
You'll remain a mere beginner.
But with me you'll be a winner"
"Dearest frog", the nightingale
Breathed: "This is a fairy tale -
And you are Mozart in disguise
Come to earth before my eyes".

"Well I charge a modest fee."
"Oh! " "But it won't hurt, you'll see"
Now the nightingale inspired,
Flushed with confidence, and fired
With both art and adoration,
Sang - and was a huge sensation.
Animals for miles around
Flocked towards the magic sound,
And the frog with great precision
Counted heads and charged admission.

Though next morning it was raining,
He began her vocal training.
"But I can't sing in this weather"
"Come my dear - we'll sing together.
Just put on your scarf and sash,
Koo-oh-ah! ko-ash! ko-ash! "
So the frog and nightingale
Journeyed up and down the scale
For six hours, till she was shivering
and her voice was hoarse and quivering.

Though subdued and sleep deprived,
In the night her throat revived,
And the sumac tree was bowed,
With a breathless, titled crowd:
Owl of Sandwich, Duck of Kent,
Mallard and Milady Trent,
Martin Cardinal Mephisto,
And the Coot of Monte Cristo,
Ladies with tiaras glittering
In the interval sat twittering -
And the frog observed them glitter
With a joy both sweet and bitter.

Every day the frog who'd sold her
Songs for silver tried to scold her:
"You must practice even longer
Till your voice, like mine grows stronger.
In the second song last night
You got nervous in mid-flight.
And, my dear, lay on more trills:
Audiences enjoy such frills.
You must make your public happier:
Give them something sharper snappier.
We must aim for better billings.
You still owe me sixty shillings."

Day by day the nightingale
Grew more sorrowful and pale.
Night on night her tired song
Zipped and trilled and bounced along,
Till the birds and beasts grew tired
At a voice so uninspired
And the ticket office gross
Crashed, and she grew more morose -
For her ears were now addicted
To applause quite unrestricted,
And to sing into the night
All alone gave no delight.

Now the frog puffed up with rage.
"Brainless bird - you're on the stage -
Use your wits and follow fashion.
Puff your lungs out with your passion."
Trembling, terrified to fail,
Blind with tears, the nightingale
Heard him out in silence, tried,
Puffed up, burst a vein, and died.

Said the frog: "I tried to teach her,
But she was a stupid creature -
Far too nervous, far too tense.
Far too prone to influence.
Well, poor bird - she should have known
That your song must be your own.
That's why I sing with panache:
"Koo-oh-ah! ko-ash! ko-ash! "
And the foghorn of the frog
Blared unrivalled through the bog.

Comments about The Frog And The Nightingale by Vikram Seth

  • Rookie kushal kedia (6/25/2017 6:44:00 AM)

    What were the ears of nightingale addicted to? (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 6,320 Points Joshua Adeyemi (4/10/2017 12:56:00 PM)

    Weigh other people's advice before you adhere to them. Don't be like the nightingale.. Embroided with morals...thanks for sharing! (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 69,985 Points Bharati Nayak (12/9/2016 11:50:00 PM)

    -Poor nightingale ! ! ! ! ! So many nightingales die because of such frogs .
    A good lesson through a nice poem . (Report) Reply

Read all 7 comments »

Poems About Frog

  1. 1. The Frog And The Nightingale , Vikram Seth
  2. 2. The Frog , Hilaire Belloc
  3. 3. The Frog Prince , Anne Sexton
  4. 4. Mary Had A Little Frog , Ellis Parker Butler
  5. 5. A Huge Frog And I , Kobayashi Issa
  6. 6. Hopping Frog, Hop Here And Be Seen , Christina Georgina Rossetti
  7. 7. Frog Haiku , Chenou Liu
  8. 8. ! The Frog Prince , Linda Ori
  9. 9. Frog Autumn , Sylvia Plath
  10. 10. The Frog And The Golden Ball , Robert Graves
  11. 11. The Smoking Frog , Robert William Service
  12. 12. A Frog's Just A Frog , Francis Duggan
  13. 13. Lucky Frog , Philo Yan
  14. 14. Frog-Dance , gajanan mishra
  15. 15. Haiku: Frog On A Lily Pad , Walterrean Salley
  16. 16. Frog In The Log , Herbert Nehrlich
  17. 17. Frog Stereotypes , Herbert Nehrlich
  18. 18. Freddy The Frog , Donna Nimmo
  19. 19. A Boy And A Frog (Kids Stuff) , Sally Plumb Plumb
  20. 20. Toad Frog And Tadpole , Terence George Craddock (Spe ..
  21. 21. The Frog , Paul Muldoon
  22. 22. Frog Orgy In Forress , Sheena Blackhall
  23. 23. Island Frog , Ima Ryma
  24. 24. The Hungry Frog , Raj Arumugam
  25. 25. Croaked By A Frog , Kim Barney
  26. 26. The Frog In The Well , Rajaram Ramachandran
  27. 27. Tree Frog , Laurence Overmire
  28. 28. A Frog , Dr. A.Celestine Raj Manohar ..
  29. 29. Frog , Mark R Slaughter
  30. 30. Knowledge Is Not Frog In Well , Hasmukh Amathalal
  31. 31. The Poison Dart Frog , Asif Andalib
  32. 32. Haiku Frog Longjump Or High Jump Over Th.. , Jonathan ROBIN
  33. 33. A Clever Frog. , Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
  34. 34. Frog Lost In Pea Soup , Bruce Larkin
  35. 35. A Frog On Your Foot , Palas Kumar Ray
  36. 36. Sick Frog , Raj Arumugam
  37. 37. Noisy -Noisy Frog , Aftab Alam
  38. 38. The Dog, The Frog, And The Hog , Mark R Slaughter
  39. 39. The Gator That Ate It's Tree Frog. , Michael Gale
  40. 40. The Croaking Toad And The Leopard Frog , Juan Olivarez
  41. 41. A Frog And A Toad , Juan Olivarez
  42. 42. Inspired By Issa - Bathroom Frog , john tiong chunghoo
  43. 43. Little Tree Frog , Theresa Ann Moore
  44. 44. Frog 1 And Frog 2 , Raj Arumugam
  45. 45. Fly Frog , Otteri Selvakumar
  46. 46. Water Frog , Aldo Kraas
  47. 47. The Frog Pool , James Martin Devaney
  48. 48. The Frog On A Log , Andrew Robinson
  49. 49. Vapor Train Reflected In The Frog Pond , Galway Kinnell
  50. 50. Finch & Frog , Wilhelm Busch
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