Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Remembered Birds


Why, they are the birds
That wanted to come to life and sing again
That only the poets knew of

Why, they are the scarlet birds that everyone said
Were too scarlet ever to be remembered again

Why, these are the places to be remembered,
And whenever these birds are to be remembered again,

Why, they are the scarlet birds and the bright flowers
No longer with us

But these are the empty places remembered
And shall be no more birds singing

But they'll sing in your hearts, poets,
They'll sing ever again

They are the scarlet birds, and the bright flowers,
That ever came to be, and to sing again

Alfred Starr Hamilton, the author of this poem, lived from 1914 to 2005. According to the scanty available biographical information, this American author wrote many thousands of poems. Not very many have survived. Most recently the life work of Alfred Starr Hamilton was collected into a compact paperback volume (the pictorial cover is reproduced above) and published by a small press called The Song Cave. My friend loaned me this book, otherwise I would have no idea such a person as Alfred Starr Hamilton ever existed or that he spent the better part of his 90 years on earth making art that very few noticed. There are about 150 short poems in this book.