Today’s poem was prompted by the writing challenge posted at the blog 20 Lines A Day.
The challenge was to write a poem on any theme with any style and include the following line from John Keats’s “Ode to a Nightingale”:
“Thou was not born for death, immortal bird!”
Speaking of death, John Keats passed away at 25, at which age he had already published 54 poems. The line quoted above speaks of the everlasting reward for the bird’s beautiful music, as set against the tough backdrop of growing older with time.
An interesting point about “Ode to a Nightingale” is that poet John Keats presents the bird as being renewable and able to change, as though its music can continue on forever. Yet the nightingale’s song is not like the reality that life is subject to time and has a physical end… The sweet music of the bird seems to transcend all of these limitations for the poet.
Here is my entry:
You Reach Out Your Arms
You do not have wings
Yet I have seen you fly above me,
As you reach out your arms
When I feel sad
And pull me up to your own level.
You will live beyond your body
As your positive spirit affects all people around you,
Even those who have not felt your warm hands
Or the strength of your arms in an embrace.
Your soul meets the birds that fly above
And you will live in my mind as
A figure who lifts me up
When I cannot feel my own arms or soul.
Thou was not born for death, immortal Bird!
©2012 Christy Birmingham