Be Like The Bird…

I’m back with another poem. I know – who have I become?

Poetry is a genre I want to love but often find tedious. I’m recognizing I really do appreciate this form of art, just not always from traditional sources.

I love lyrical music and, in this format, consume poetry daily! And perhaps that is part of the allure of picture books, as they so often read and function like accessible poetry (especially some of the masterfully-written rhyming books).

So maybe I’m a poetry buff after all? Regardless of my official status, here is a poem I’ve loved for years:

Be like the bird, who
Resting in his flight
On a twig too slight
Feels it give way beneath him,
Yet sings
Knowing he has wings.

Victor Hugo

What wonderful imagery: to sing when the branch gives way and then take flight.

Putting this into practice is where the challenge begins but, sometimes, when the world seems to give way beneath us we remember dormant skill sets. (Unfortunately, mine don’t include the ability to fly. Wouldn’t that be convenient.)

Header photo by Pete Nuij on Unsplash

12 thoughts on “Be Like The Bird…”

  1. Oooh, I love this poem so much. I didn’t even know Victor Hugo wrote poems. This poem reminds me of one by Mary Oliver called This Morning, and one of the lines is about baby birds “They don’t even know they have wings.” I think about that all the time.

    1. I remember watching a nature video in university and it showed baby birds hopping out of a nest. They didn’t realize they had wings (and actually did end up falling all the way to the ground but were so fluffy they didn’t get hurt)…but had no fear.
      I think that’s what gets me sometimes – I’m scared of falling and either forget about my wings/wonder if my wings are the right type/strong enough.
      I’m trying to be more fearless – just like baby birds that don’t know they have wings and aren’t scared of falling…yet quickly learn they do have the necessary wings for taking flight.

  2. I also wish I could appreciate poetry more. Interestingly, whenever someone posts a poem on their blog, I love it- but then when I read poetry on my own I don’t like it as much. So thank you for posting this!

  3. I feel similar to how Jenny feels. I don’t consider myself a poetry person but I usually appreciate the poems people share! This poem is lovely, though. It feels applicable to this stage of life. Things don’t go as planned and things are out of my control, but I have skills to handle it. So the trick is to remember the “wings” I have and not to focus on the feeling of falling.

  4. I will chime in and second what Jenny and Lisa said… I don’t usually seek out poetry on my own, but appreciate poems that I randomly come across or that others share šŸ™‚ So thank you for that. Wouldn’t it indeed be nice to be able to fly (wouldn’t make it so scary to fall, but then, maybe that’s what coasting is for in the human world?).

    1. I don’t really seek out poetry either, so the ones I’ve posted are about the sum total of everything I’ve come across that has really stuck with me.
      I think recently understanding that I DO appreciate poetry in other forms as well (music, picture books) has been a bit of an epiphany. Poetry can fit a broad category…

  5. I love this poem. Read it to the kids and Nellie said, “That’s in Elisabeth’s book of quotes!”

    1. Aww. She’s correct!
      As I said in another comment, this about taps out my poetry selection (I guess I could post my two favourites: Stopping By Woods On a Snowy Evening + Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven)!

  6. I’m in the minority here, again – I love poetry, but am very specific about my likes and dislikes. Mary Oliver and David Whyte are my go-to’s; poems like the Hugo one above I can appreciate, but don’t love as much as I love the others. Does that make sense? I think part of it is actually enjoying my poetry sections of lit classes in high school… the teachers made it interesting, and they allowed us to explore.
    And yes, lyrics and children’s books and many other forms of writing are really… poetry. RE: kids’ poetry, I love Shel Silverstein – but again, a very specific type of poetry that doesn’t appeal to all! Have you read any of it?

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