Of Birds and Poets

Song Thrush on a fence post UK
Photo by Colin Davis / Unsplash

The birds are really going for it. At first light they trill with mad joy. Fortunately that's just before my alarm goes off at 7am, so, perfect timing. At 4.30am in the summer it's less ideal.

Lovely as they sound, I know they are staking out their territory and actually shouting, 'My tree, get lost or I'll fight you, fight you, fight you...'

In spring they'll change their tune to, 'Look at me! I'm gorgeous and in fine voice. Pick me, pick me, pick me...'

Right outside my bedroom window a thrush has claimed the cabbage tree. Robert Browning taught me to recognise the thrush:

That's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!*

And as I wake up slowly these chilly mornings, listening to the chorus, I'm with Gerard Manley Hopkins, whose heart 'stirr'd for a bird'**.

What a way to start the day!

*Robert Browning 'Home Thoughts from Aboard'

**Gerard Manly Hopkins 'The Windhover'