Saturday, October 15, 2005

Last Songs

What do they sing, the last birds
coasting down the twilight, banking across woods filled with darkness, their
frayed wings
curved on the worlds like a lover's arms
which form, night after night, in sleep,
an irremediable absence?

Silence. Ashes
in the grate. Whatever it is
that keeps us from heaven,
sloth, wrath, greed, fear, could we only
reinvent it on eart as song.

I really liked this poem because of its ablity to go from a gentle stanza to one of a much more serious nature. The first stanza has great imagery with the birds going home right before the sun goes down. The personification of the birds singing and what they are actually singing gives the poem a very imaginative tone. The idea of the birds' wings being, "like a lover's arms," is an interesting image. The next two lines of the poem took me a little longer to understand than the rest of the poem. I finally realized that the author was talking about the idea of a lover's arms around his or her over and if that was, "an irremediable absence?" This thought one could ponder over for hours and not come to a conclusion. For me, I think that a good friend, lover, or family member's absence would be irreplaceable. Just like the poem says about the lover's arms, I think people have certain experiences that form people in such a way that no one in the world could replace.
The second stanza of the poem begins grim, but remedies itself in the lst line. The idea of not going to heaven for certain qualities is hard to swallow, but the "reinvention," of these bad qualities on earth is a very intersting interpretation.

2 Comments:

Blogger Danny said...

I thought this poem was really interesting. There are so many questions left unanswered. Are the birds with the frayed wings the sinners who do not get to heaven? What is the irremediable absense? I also agree I really like the image that the first stanza sets up. Good choice of poem.

6:03 PM  
Blogger MValentine said...

I like the topic of this poem because it is something in nature that is beautiful that is often overlooked. I like Neils interpretation of the poem and that the lovers arms are irreplaceable, and that it is about more then just the last birds song. The author is just using this image of the last birs song to explore a larger idea and I think that that is a brilliant technique.

3:32 AM  

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