Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Poetry Wednesday: A Barred Owl

Visit Jacqui's Multi-blog Poetry Wednesday


A short poem:

A Barred Owl

The warping night air having brought the boom

Of an owl’s voice into her darkened room,

We tell the wakened child that all she heard

Was an odd question from a forest bird,

Asking of us, if rightly listened to,

“Who cooks for you?” and then “Who cooks for you?”


Words, which can make our terrors bravely clear,

Can also thus domesticate a fear,

And send a small child back to sleep at night

Not listening for the sound of stealthy flight

Or dreaming of some small thing in a claw

Borne up to some dark branch and eaten raw.


Richard Wilbur



U.S. Poet laureate 1987-88 and winner of a Pulitzer Prize, you can read more about this poet here.

By the way, if an owl could write poetry, would that make it a Bard Owl?

5 comments:

Jacqui Binford-Bell said...

Good thing I did not read this one as a child. What a mood it invokes. Love the photo you chose to go with it. Nice post.

bekkieann said...

Yes, it struck me as a poem intended to comfort a child but not at all comforting for the adult.

Michael said...

I just loved this B...the way you tied it all together so neatly. Thank you.

bekkieann said...

Thanks, Michael. This one just sort of fell into my lap.

Bee said...

not at all comforting for an adult as you so rightly say. For me - scary!