Four poems with bird symbolism by Maya Angelou, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, and Dritëro Agolli

Thinking of "Departures of love, death, and birds" I was reminded of three of my favorite poems by three American writers.

In the end, I have added one of my favorite poems about seagulls from a great Albanian poet, Dritero Agolli, and my modest translation.

The cover image is "Hierarchical Birds" by Mark Rothko.

Caged Bird
BY MAYA ANGELOU

A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn
and he names the sky his own

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

Bird Cage Variation II by Hans Hofmann
Bird Cage Variation II by Hans Hofmann

A Minor Bird
BY ROBERT FROST

I have wished a bird would fly away,
And not sing by my house all day;

Have clapped my hands at him from the door
When it seemed as if I could bear no more.

The fault must partly have been in me.
The bird was not to blame for his key.

And of course there must be something wrong
In wanting to silence any song.

Bird by Jackson Pollock
Bird by Jackson Pollock

“Hope” is the thing with feathers
BY EMILY DICKINSON

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.

Black Birds by Vincent Van Gogh
Black Birds by Vincent Van Gogh

Duke u nisur nga Pulebardha
NGA DRITËRO AGOLLI

Pulëbardha është e bukur shumë
Zog si ky mbi valet ndofta s'ka
Vetëm s'kam ç't'i them bardhoshes unë
Kur të ndyra deti shkon e ha!

Mbase kjo na qënkish bota jonë
Botë e mbushur tejet me çudi:
Bën të mira plot dhe shpejt a vonë
Bukurinë ushqen me ndyrësi.

‘The Conference of the Birds’ by Francesco Clemente
‘The Conference of the Birds’ by Francesco Clemente

In English

Starting from the Seagull
BY DRITËRO AGOLLI

The seagull is beautiful, quite true
she has no equal in the waters
Though this beauty I cannot pursue
when sea waste from she gobbles

It seems this is our world
A world full of wonder:
where so much good is quickly hurled
and beauty fed with rubble.

Geese in the Brook by Claude Monet
Geese in the Brook by Claude Monet