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Poem: "The Language of the Birds" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "The Language of the Birds"
This poem came out of the November 3, 2009 Poetry Fishbowl. It was prompted by jenny_evergreen and sponsored by janetmiles.


The Language of the Birds



In the time before time,
it was the birds
who first eavesdropped upon the gods
and learned to speak.

Being closer to the heavens,
the birds flew high
and heard what was never meant
for mortal ears to hear.

They snatched up the words
with their beaks and flew away
while the gods swore and the goddesses
swatted at them with brooms.

To their dismay, the birds discovered
That thoughts are heavy things,
And so they dropped the words
Here and there across the world.

The words fell and fell,
And wherever they hit,
They cracked open like oysters
And released the goodness inside.

But they were never quite the same
After that, and the language of men
Was so different that only the wisest
Could understand the birds.

Since then, the language of the gods
Has been left largely to seers and priests,
And the language of birds is bequeathed
To madmen and poets.

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7 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
shadowsculptor From: shadowsculptor Date: November 4th, 2009 05:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
I very much like this one!
shadowsculptor From: shadowsculptor Date: November 4th, 2009 05:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
P.S., I'll post a link to it in my blog :)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 4th, 2009 07:23 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yay!

I'm glad you like this one, especially enough to post the link in your blog.
jenny_evergreen From: jenny_evergreen Date: November 4th, 2009 06:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
(Thanks, Janet!)

I love the ending in particular. Thank you!
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 4th, 2009 07:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yay!

The ending draws on various aspects of myth and legend which describe who gets certain types of mystical ability. Madmen and poets often appear in the same category, so...
wyld_dandelyon From: wyld_dandelyon Date: November 5th, 2009 01:02 am (UTC) (Link)
I like this one!
From: lhun_dweller Date: November 7th, 2009 11:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Saw this via Shadowsculptor. I enjoyed it: it's a clever story, but told in a way that doesn't seem oh-so-clever, if that makes any sense... Thanks for sharing it!
7 comments or Leave a comment