Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Blue Heron / Theodore Goodridge Roberts

The Blue Heron

In a green place lanced through
With amber and gold and blue;
A place of water and weeds
And roses pinker than dawn,
And ranks of lush young reeds,
And grasses straightly withdrawn
From graven ripples of sands,
The still blue heron stands.

Smoke-blue he is, and grey
As embers of yesterday.
Still he is, as death;
Like stone, or shadow of stone,
Without a pulse or breath,
Motionless and alone
There in the lily stems:
But his eyes are alive like gems.

Still as a shadow; still
Grey feather and yellow bill:
Still as an image made
Of mist and smoke half hid
By windless sunshine and shade,
Save when a yellow lid
Slides and is gone like a breath:
Death-still — and sudden as death!

Theodore Goodridge Roberts (1877-1953), 1923
from The Lost Shipmate, 1926

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada]

Theodore Goodridge Roberts biography

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