Literature: The Days When Birds Come Back

Even though I got out skiing up high two days last week, it’s late-spring here in Vail, Colorado—maybe even on the verge of summer. The valley’s first local mountain bike race is this evening, and the aspens are sprouting some luscious-looking lime green leaves. I’ve chosen a poem from Emily Dickinson to share in celebration of the season. Dickinson is a poet I turn to when I need someone to articulate the beauty I find in the outdoors, the connections I see between natural and spiritual realms. So here she is:

These are the days when birds come back,
A very few, a bird or two,
To take a backward look.

These are the days when skies put on
The old, old sophistries of June,—
A blue and gold mistake.

Oh, fraud that cannot cheat the bee,
Almost thy plausibility
Induces my belief,

Till ranks of seeds their witness bear,
And softly through the altered air
Hurries a timed leaf!

Oh, sacrament of summer days,
Oh, last communion in the haze,
Permit a child to join,

Thy sacred emblems to partake,
Thy consecrated bread to break,
Taste thine immortal wine!

Citation:
Dickinson, Emily. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson. Boston: Little, Brown, 1924; Bartleby.com, 2000. www.bartleby.com/113/. [May 26, 2010].

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2 responses to “Literature: The Days When Birds Come Back

  1. We switched from winter straight to hot summer here, skipping spring completely.

    So, I wonder:

    How many cups the bee partakes

    When he is thrust unknowingly straight to midsummer heat.

    Anyway, good luck in the bike race if you are entering.

    Best

  2. Thats one of my favourite poems – thanks for reminding me of it out of the blue

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