Friday, December 29, 2006

Joyce Kilmer

My mother had this poem tucked away in her Bible. It's slightly sentimental, but it has a bit of a sting in the tale. And the rhythm is very interesting: almost lends itself to being sung. It doesn't appear to have a title.

Come little daws, hungry little daws,
Do you want some wholesome feeding?
Here's my heart on my sleeve
For your beaks and claws,
All ruddy and warm and beating.
Come birdies come, for the night is young,
And now's the time for feeding,
And the very best songs that are ever sung,
Are sung when the heart is bleeding.

Kilmer (a man, by the way, in spite of his first name) was killed in action in 1918 during the First World War. He was one of the most prolific poets of his generation, but is now best known for the poem, Trees, which was set to music and has been sung for generations. There's a very good bio of his at Wikipedia.

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