Thursday, June 10, 2021

Poetry Friday: Vanishing

This poem by Brittney Corrigan is about the ongoing decrease in the number of birds in the world. I've been wanting to write my own poem on this topic for a while, but in the meantime here's part of hers:


by Brittney Corrigan

... the birds quietly lessen

themselves among the grasslands.

No longer a chorus but a lonely,

indicating trill: Eastern meadowlark,

wood thrush, indigo bunting --

their voices ghosts in the 

chemical landscape of crops.

...Color drains from

our common home so gradually,

we convince ourselves

it has always been gray.

Little hollow-boned dinosaurs,

you who survived the last extinction...

Click on over to read the rest.


I have been attending some of the Zooms put on by BirdsCaribbean and learning so much. Today I heard about birding on Abaco, one of the islands of the Bahamas, and the progress in recovering from Hurricane Dorian. A couple of weeks ago I watched as a woman teared up describing her first sighting of a hummingbird after the hurricane. 


The vanishing makes what's left even more precious.


Carol has this week's roundup.


mbhmaine said...

What a powerful poem, Ruth. I often think about the decline in bird populations and it makes me so sad. I clicked over to read the end of the poem--that ending is a real punch in the gut. Thanks for sharing.

Carol said...

This poem is beautiful but almost too sad to read! One I will definitely add to my collection of poems to share with my sixth graders next year!

michelle kogan said...

Such a powerful, truthful and melancholic poem. The vanishing of the birds and other species, is/has been right in front of our nose. This closing reminds me of Greta Thunberg, and I see after reading, it reminded Corrigan of her too, thanks Ruth.
"Our children flock into the streets
with voices raised, their anger
a grim substitute
for song."

Denise Krebs said...

Ruth, the sadness and truth of the poem, with the NY Times quote that nearly 1/3 of birds in North America have vanished slaps us in the face. What is it going to take? So glad you are teaching me about birds. Thank you--that is two weeks in a row you have given me food for thought. I'll look forward to reading your poem someday.

Linda B said...

I am a member of Audubon and know this terrible news, Ruth. The poem is new, its news, "we convince ourselves
it has always been gray." is heartbreaking. But thanks for sharing. I'm glad to see people writing about this.

jama said...

Sad poem, even sadder reality. Didn't realize the situation was so dire . . .

Linda Mitchell said...

Oh no! I didn't realize. I should have...but not the birds. My goodness. We humans need to wake up and understand our relationship with all. A wonderful, sad poem...educational for me. I look forward to what you write on this topic.
Here is the link to Hamish's padlet if you couldn't get it to work -- I'm thrilled that anyone would take a peek at it:

Janice Scully said...

Such a dramatic poem that strikes at the heart of the loss that undoubtedly too few talk about. I used to love seeing red-winged black birds by the road when I was little, walking down the street of our small town. Thanks for sharing this poet.

Marilyn Miner said...

I feel like each year I see fewer yellow finches, red-winged blackbirds, and blue jays. I keep looking and looking. Thank you for bringing this poem to my attention.

Sally Murphy said...

Such an important poem. It made me sad - whcih is just what it should do! The image of 'hollow-boned dinosaurs' was clever - linking them back but also foreshadowing in the one phrase.

Carol Varsalona said...

Ruth, the poem is amazing, an eye-opener. Thank you for sharing it. Your last line is thought-provoking and hopefully leads to a poem about your new learning and deep feelings.

Mary Lee said...

Heartbreaking. Not just the birds, but so many other species, too. It's true that the ones we DO see are even more precious, but those who have never known the diversity think the "grey" is normal.