Wednesday, December 3, 2014


William Cullen Bryant is famous for his poem To a Waterfowl. At the time -- mid-18th century -- it was thought to be one of the best poems ever written.  And it is a very clean little piece:  Eight stanzas of iambic trimiter and pentameter. In my class we just looked for the rhyming words, though. It's only college, after all. And they are only English majors. Alas, I briefly fantasized about showing them the metaphor, the anaphora, and the anastrophe; in the end I decided against it. It is a clean little piece, though... and just right for teaching. William Arnold even said that it was the best short poem in the language. I don't think that any of you will feel that way about my haiku, but I am inspired the same as Bryant by the steadfastness of the bird, and the mysterious way it makes its way home... the way we all do.

to the waterfowl
bright white snowy bird

feet to the rear, beak forward
the avian engineer

are you going home?
is your lover there?

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