|Great White Heron, plate 281 (Audubon)|
This weekend I picked up a copy of Mary Oliver's 2014 Blue Horses: Poems, a poetry collection rich in bird imagery. "The Black Snake" was the first poem I ever read by Mary Oliver and I've loved her work ever since that first encounter. Below is the opening poem in this collection.
AFTER READING LUCRETIUS, I GO TO THE POND
The slippery green frog
that went to his death
in the heron's pink throat
was my small brother,
and the heron with the white plumes
like a crown on his head
who is washing now his great sword-beak
in the shining pond
is my tall thin brother.
My heart dresses in black