Poet, Lover, Birdwatcher

To force the pace and never to be still  

Is not the way of those who study birds                         Or women. The best poets wait for words. 

The hunt is not an exercise of will 
But patient love relaxing on a hill 
To note the movement of a timid wing; 
Until the one who knows that she is loved .
No longer waits but risks surrendering – 
In this the poet finds his moral proved 
Who never spoke before his spirit moved. 

The slow movement seems, somehow, to say much more. 
To watch the rarer birds, you have to go 
Along deserted lanes and where the rivers flow 
In silence near the source, or by a shore 
Remote and thorny like the heart’s dark floor. 
And there the women slowly turn around, 
Not only flesh and bone but myths of light 
With darkness at the core, and sense is found 
But poets lost in crooked, restless flight, 
The deaf can hear, the blind recover sight.

by Nissim Ezekiel


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