Monday, May 4, 2020

Hermit Thrush

In the swamp in secluded recesses,
A shy and hidden bird is warbling a song.
Solitary the thrush,
The hermit withdrawn to himself, avoiding the settlements,
Sings by himself a song.
Song of the bleeding throat,
Death’s outlet song of life, (for well dear brother I know, 
If thou wast not granted to sing thou would’st surely die.)

Sing on, sing on you gray-brown bird,
Sing from the swamps, the recesses, pour your chant from the bushes,
Limitless out of the dusk, out of the cedars and pines.
Sing on dearest brother, warble your reedy song,
Loud human song, with voice of uttermost woe.
O liquid and free and tender!
O wild and loose to my soul—O wondrous singer!
                                                     ~Walt Whitman

A few days ago, while on my morning walk, I heard the sweetest song coming from the woods. I must have heard it before, but just as I sometimes read a poem many times before the beauty in it truly leaps out at me, I never heeded this lovely feathered poet until now! Since then I've heard it several times. Sometimes I can hear it faintly from the yard, but the sound always comes from deep in the woods and seems to call me out for another ramble. Whitman's poem describes it beautifully, don't you think? 😊


  1. How lovely, one of my favorite bird songs! I saw a Hermit Thrush passing through last week. I rarely hear them here in summer. I think perhaps they prefer human-free forests.

    1. I guess they are called 'Hermit' Thrush for a reason! :)