Poetry Sunday: Something Told the Wild Geese by Rachel Field

The migration of birds has always been a mysterious thing. Although much more is understood of it today than was in the past, we still wonder, how exactly do they know when it is time to go? 

There are a lot of wintering geese here in January but soon enough, in a few weeks, something will tell them to head north again. And just like that, they will be off.

Something Told the Wild Geese

by Rachel Field 

Something told the wild geese
It was time to go,
Though the fields lay golden
Something whispered, “Snow.”

Leaves were green and stirring,
Berries, luster-glossed,
But beneath warm feathers,
Something cautioned, “Frost.”

All the sagging orchards
Steamed with amber spice,
But each wild breast stiffened
At remembered ice.

Something told the wild geese
It was time to fly.
Summer sun was on their wings,
Winter in their cry.


Comments

  1. Very nice verse.

    Be it geese or other birds, there really is something wondrous about their migration.

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    Replies
    1. Exactly. The world is full of wonders and bird migration is one of them.

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  2. I can tell you this, Dorothy, after all these many years, one of the sounds that still stirs my soul is the honking of the Canada Geese returning home in spring. Sometimes they are flying so high you can't see them but you know they are there, and it is a sound as primeval as any I am likely to encounter. And it won't be long now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The wildness and the freedom embodied in that sound is more than enough to stir the soul of anyone who has a soul.

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    2. I am sure you will realize that I use the term "soul" to represent a fundamental, visceral response to a natural event rather than the recognition of a deistically endowed phenomenon.

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  3. Wow, and I just finished Migrations last night. I remember watching the geese arrive at my mother's pond in the spring. I also remember some favorite picture books by Rachel Field from my childhood.

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    Replies
    1. I look forward to reading your thoughts on Migrations. After I finished it, it took me several days of contemplation to even gather my thoughts and know what I wanted to say about it.

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  4. I do find it intriguing that birds know when you head south and when to come back north. Nature is amazing.

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    Replies
    1. It is that. The most amazing thing is that it just keeps ticking along in spite of our interference.

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  5. We have Canada geese here (New York State) yearround now. I can remember when they all migrated. It's fascinating to me how birds know "when it is time", just as I wonder how trees know when to break dormancy to welcome spring.

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