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Subject Index
  1. Adventure
  2. Animals
  3. Beauty
  4. Bereavement
  5. Birds
  6. Carpe Diem
  7. Children
  8. Dance
  9. Death
  10. Descriptions
  11. Faith & Religion
  12. Family & Home
  13. Flowers
  14. Food & Drink
  15. Friendship
  16. Garden
  17. Heroes
  18. History
  19. Holidays
  20. Humor
  21. Images
  22. Imagination
  23. Inspiration
  24. Life
  25. Love
  26. Machines
  27. Marriage
  28. Memorials
  29. Memory
  30. Months
  31. Music
  32. Mystery
  33. Nature
  34. Parodies
  35. Parting
  36. Patriotism
  37. People
  38. Places
  39. Poetry
  40. Protest
  41. Rhyme & Rhythm
  42. Satire
  43. School
  44. Sea & Sailing
  45. Seasons
  46. Song
  47. Sport
  48. Stages of Life
  49. Story Telling
  50. Time
  51. Time of Day
  52. Travel
  53. War
  54. Weather
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Subject Index - Birds

Pied Billed Grebe Poetry is a sky dark with wild-duck migration. - Carl Sandburg

In poetry, the elements a poet writes about (weather, time of day, profession, landscape, plants, animals) are chosen for a reason. Largely because they symbolize, or are a metaphor for, the point the poet is trying to make.

Birds, by their very nature, symbolize many things: the fredom of flight, the ethos of a wanderer or a predator, or the ephemral nature of their lives. Their seasonal migration, their mating, nesting, and nurturing behaviors. The emergence from an egg into the world.

And then there is an additional layer of possible meaning - specific birds suggest specific things: the magesty of eagles, the elegance of swans, the mischievesness of crows or magpies, robins as hearalds of spring, kingfishers (halcyon birds) as survivors, nightingales and larks as songbirds, cuckoos as a symbol of infidelity, skylarks as symbols of the ephemeral nature of life and happiness.

Delve into the selections below for a sampling of how poets make frequent use of winged things.


Tricolor Heron
  1. The Windhover by Gerard Manley Hopkins
    And the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
    Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!


  2. The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy
    A song of hope amidst the gloom.


  3. Robin Redbreaast by William Allingham


  4. The Kingfisher by W. H. Davies
    IT was the Rainbow gave thee birth,
    And left thee all her lovely hues;

  5. Sonnet to the Redbreast by John Codrington Bampfylde


  6. Stanzas by John Gardiner Calkins Brainard


  7. Nightingales by Robert Bridges


  8. Red Winged Blackbird
  9. To a Waterfowl by William Cullen Bryant


  10. The Eagle by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
    A very short, but very dramatic description.


  11. Ode to a Nightingale by John Keats


  12. The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe
    Technically this is not about a bird. It is about obsessing over lost love, but the bird provides the torturing refrain.


  13. Meadowlarks by Sara Teasdale
    Birdsong as a metaphor for joy.


  14. To a Skylark by Percy Bysshe Shelley


  15. The Owl Critic by James T. Fields
    A very bad taxidermy job. Or maybe not . . .


  16. The Cardinal Bird by William Davis Gallagher


  17. The Blue-bird by Alexander Wilson


  18. Kingfisher
  19. The Loon by George Charles Selden


  20. Owl Against Robin by Sidney Lanier
    A characterization at length.


  21. To the Mocking-Bird by Richard Henry Wilde


  22. Birds of Passage by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    And above, in the light
    Of the star-lit night,
        Swift birds of passage wing their flight
        Through the dewy atmosphere.


  23. What Bird So Sings by Thomas Dekker


  24. To the Oriole by Herbert Salisbury Hopkins


  25. The Wild Swans at Coole by William Butler Yeats


  26. The Woodcock and the Daw by John Heywood


  27. The Fisherman's Hymn by Alexander Wilson


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