Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"If I Were a Bird" by Lorine Niedecker

If I Were a Bird

I’d be a dainty contained cool
Greek figurette
on a morning shore —

I’d flitter and feed and delouse myself
close to Williams’ house
and his kind eyes

I’d be a never-museumed tinted glass
breakable from the shelves of Marianne Moore.

On Stevens’ fictive sibilant hibiscus flower
I’d poise myself, a cuckoo, flamingo-pink.

I’d plunge the depths with Zukofsky
and all that means — stirred earth,
cut sky, organ-sounding, resounding
anew, anew.

I’d prick the sand in cunning, lean,
Cummings irony, a little drunk dead sober.
Man, that walk down the beach!

I’d sit on a quiet fence
and sing a quiet thing: sincere, sincere.
And that would be Reznikoff.

Source of the text - Lorine Niedecker, Collected Works.  Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002, pp. 130-131.

TJB: The aviary of influence. Images of 7 poets as if each of their poetries was a bird, each stanza parroting the style of the subject poet.

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