Surrounding myself with beauty, cushions me from some of life’s rougher moments.  When I was younger, I memorized poetry—a nickle a line (thank you, Mom).  Now, the words slip out of my mind like pearls from a box—rich and glowing—when life seems lifeless.

One of my favorites is Emily Dickinson’s piece below the fold.  The poem doesn’t explicitly name the bird and I reluctantly allow it could be a chickadee or some other little brown bird but she describes a robin’s actions so accurately (the one I photographed a few mornings ago could have been auditioning to play the leading role in her poem) that I see a robin.


A Bird came down the Walk –

He did not know I saw –

He bit an Angleworm in halves

And ate the fellow, raw,

And then he drank a Dew

From a convenient Grass –

And then hopped sidewise to the Wall

To let a Beetle pass –

He glanced with rapid eyes

That hurried all abroad –

They looked like frightened Beads, I thought –

He stirred his Velvet Head

Like one in danger, Cautious,

I offered him a Crumb

And he unrolled his feathers

And rowed him softer home –

Than Oars divide the Ocean,

Too silver for a seam –

Or Butterflies, off Banks of Noon

Leap, plashless as they swim.