The cold snap is lifting! The snow will soon melt. In only a week or two, someone will report having heard a Nighthawk, and we will know that the first Woodcock has arrived to start the peenting season. Someone else will report the first Phoebe, the first Pine Warbler, etc.and the need for poetry will diminish.
 
In the meantime, this weather has killed a lot of birds. So, here's a 2000-year-old poem (from Bright Wings) about a dead bird.
 
The Death of Lesbia's Bird
 
Pity! mourn in plaintive tone
The lovely starling dead and gone!
Pity mourns in plaintive tone
The lovely starling dead and gone.
Weep, ye loves! and Venus! weep
The lovely starling fallen asleep!
Venus sees with tearful eyes ---
In her lap the starling lies!
While the loves all in a ring
Softly stroke the stiffened wing.
 
        by Catullus
        translated by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
 
Bob Fisher
Independence, MO
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