Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Inspiration and Rapture

I read this poem by Eamon Grennan several years ago on one of those "Poem a Day" calendars. It has haunted me ever since, though I lost the paper on which it was printed. Finally I located it again:

by Eamon Grennan

I was watching a robin fly after a finch—the smaller
chirping with excitement, the bigger, its breast blazing, silent
in light-winged earnest chase—when, out of nowhere
over the chimneys and the shivering front gardens,
flashes a sparrowhawk headlong, a light brown burn
scorching the air from which it simply plucks
like a ripe fruit the stopped robin, whose two or three
cheeps of terminal surprise twinkle in the silence
closing over the empty street when the birds have gone
about their business, and I began to understand
how a poem can happen: you have your eye on a small
elusive detail, pursuing its music, when a terrible truth
strikes and your heart cries out, being carried off.

Sparrowhawk (also known as Sharp-shinned Hawk) photo by Patrick Meharg


The Bodhi Chicklet said...

They are beautiful (hawks) but ruthless. Everybody has to eat though, don't they. And a similar parallel could be drawn between the robin and the earthworm. Thanks for stopping by my place and leaving a comment.

eileeninmd said...

Anne, wonderful poem and a perfect photo. I hope you are haivng a wonderful weekend!