” And for that minute a blackbird sang”

As there is nothing to do in the garden except morn the flowers buried under the snow I thought I would share a poem instead.

Adlestrop

By Edward Thomas
Yes. I remember Adlestrop—
The name, because one afternoon
Of heat the express-train drew up there
Unwontedly. It was late June.
The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.
No one left and no one came
On the bare platform. What I saw
Was Adlestrop—only the name
And willows, willow-herb, and grass,
And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,
No whit less still and lonely fair
Than the high cloudlets in the sky.
And for that minute a blackbird sang
Close by, and round him, mistier,
Farther and farther, all the birds
Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.
Source: Poems (1917)

This is a great favourite. It is a poem about nothing; about a delicious absence of unwanted noise and movement and about the great beauty of the sound of blackbirds.

Blackbirds are the first to sing in the morning and the last bird to chuckle down to sleep in the evening.  Gardens are plotted and mapped out by the territories of singing blackbirds  :  ” all the birds of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire” and all the places beyond are the kingdoms of blackbirds.

 

 

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16 thoughts on “” And for that minute a blackbird sang”

  1. peterfrankiswrites says:

    Lovely verse, thanks as always. Here in Australia, they introduced the blackbird in 19th century to Melbourne and now they’re commonly the east coast. One even tosses the mulch in my garden, before hopping onto the fence and singing ( perhaps calling to all the birds of Gloucestershire).

    Like

  2. janesmudgeegarden says:

    We have blackbirds here too, and I love their song. Most people complain about the mulch-tossing, but we have native birds that are much more vigorous at that than blackbirds.

    Like

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