This Poem was Submitted By: Mark D. Kilburn On Date: 2004-11-08 11:45:16 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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Night Song

On the eastern bank  of the mighty Mississippi, a Whip-poor-will is whistling courage. Singing and searching for feathered friends gone, a broken heart song. Whip-poor will, Whip-poor-will… So déjà vu his calling cry, a soothing sound for spring’s first sigh. His melancholy song resounds through wooded bluff and forest, a perfect lullaby for all who hear In always shadowed ravine on moss covered stones of envious green, an eternal song of clarity. Hush and hear Whip-poor-will, Whip-poor-will…

Copyright © November 2004 Mark D. Kilburn

This Poem was Critiqued By: Mell W. Morris On Date: 2004-12-06 18:12:36
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Mark: So great to see a poem by you come on my list! Hope you are doing well. Did you notice the # of bird poems this month? I even wrote about my mocking birds. While you were gone, we changed "rules" that long critiques were no longer part/parcel so poets were not to be expecting same. We are wavering as we are lacking in reviewers and poets. If you post and get a lousy critique, you feel cheated. I have found that some poets can be bright, pithy, and helpful in two lines. Night Song is an apposite title and you write about it with subdued passion which works. It becomes a sad song when feathered friends depart and the bird feels lonely. I really like the 2nd stanza. His deja vu a calling cry, soothing song for the sighs of spring. Poet says his sad sound echoes throughout the forest and makes a perfect lullaby. You put the sound, Whip-poor will, whip-poor-will after stanzas one and three. Placed so, it becomes the final line which is a nice touch. "Moss-covered stones of envious green" and "eternal song of clarity" Nicely limned line before the closing reiteration. I've run out of steam, Mark; I only have a few hours before I have to lie down and rest. Your nature poems still sing of the glories of our planet, and we are proud of all your published poems hailing the great worth of nature. Take care and best wishes, Mell

This Poem was Critiqued By: arnie s WACHMAN On Date: 2004-12-02 16:31:25
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.87500
Oh yes I've heard this bird. It has a really neat tune like you wrote. Another one is the Loon. Each Loon's call is different for they imitate sounds from nature. The last stanza is the one I can enjoy the most. Good symmetry and rhyme. Thanks for this.
This Poem was Critiqued By: Dellena Rovito On Date: 2004-11-22 15:32:28
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.91667
Mark, Nice goatsucker [bird] poem. I especially liked; [spring's first sigh] So déjà vu his calling cry, a soothing sound for spring’s first sigh. Singing and searching for feathered friends gone, a broken heart [hearted?] song. All of us could sing the whippoorwill song...searching for their gone friends. whippoorwill whippoorwill. Happy turkey day, Dellena
This Poem was Critiqued By: Joanne M Uppendahl On Date: 2004-11-12 15:53:43
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Dear Mark: This is a perfect song and poem. I so longed to hear the whippoorwill call after reading this that I searched out a website at to listen to his song. Where I live, we don't hear them, but when I lived for a time in Tennessee, we did, and the call is unforgettable. On the eastern bank of the mighty Mississippi, a Whip-poor-will is whistling courage. Singing and searching for feathered friends gone, a broken heart song. That the song comes from the "eastern bank" of the great river elicits a feeling in me that it may symbolize the spiritual direction. The east is the direction of the sun's rising, perhaps the direction to which our soul is ultimately called. The poignancy of the bird "whistling courage" for "feathered friends gone" is especially moving. As always in your poems, the sounds are a strong feature which makes them even more compelling. The sibilants, for example in "singing/searching/song" and the assonant near-rhyme of "gone/song" are deftly limned so that the reader is swept along by the soft sounds and rhythms. That the whippoorwill searches for friends that are gone adds a mournful tone, so that the bird's song becomes both a song of courage and a lament. Whip-poor will, Whip-poor-will… So déjà vu his calling cry, a soothing sound for spring’s first sigh. It increased the longing I felt after reading this lovely, mournful work. There are few with such ability as to evoke an emotion, a sound, a song, and a sense of quiet all at once. What is left unsaid in this work speaks almost as profoundly as the words. Perhaps I could make a comparison to the silence between notes of music, or the space surrounding a portrait in a work of art. The missing elements are what pierce the soul -- in this case, perhaps it is the silence after the whippoorwill call that pulls me in most strongly. His melancholy song resounds through wooded bluff and forest, a perfect lullaby for all who hear The repetitious calls were considered an omen of death to the Omaha Indians. The Ute Indians believed that the whippoorwill was the god of the night and could magically change a frog into the moon. Is the lullaby one sung perfectly for "all who hear" its true meaning, those facing death or loss? Those facing the night, awaiting spring. I cannot help but see the cry "for spring's first sigh" as a metaphor for the resurrection. Maybe it's just me. Your poem sets up such a longing in my soul. In always shadowed ravine on moss covered stones of envious green, an eternal song of clarity. Hush and hear Whip-poor-will, Whip-poor-will… Are the stones covered with "envious green" because they cannot hear the "eternal song of clarity" or respond to it? I love this poem, Mark. I can't tell you how strongly it has affected me. Thank you for this remarkable lyric piece, one that goes into my 'favorites' file immediately. I believe we share an affinity for birds, for nature and for things of a melancholy tone. I think you have outdone yourself here. If this hasn't already been published, I hope you'll consider making its exquisite beauty available on the printed page. This poem needs to be portable. Bravo! All my best, Joanne
This Poem was Critiqued By: Tony P Spicuglia On Date: 2004-11-08 19:57:55
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Mark, I was transfixed on this verse. I first, (to be candid), had to get by the cliche' "mighty" before Mississippi, I think you could do better, but anyways, then I listened. I liked your "broken heart" for surely the whipporwill calls for a mate, and surely the calling ends when love is found. It was a wonderfully colorful comparison. Oddly, I went to the sound of the whipporwill and listened to it time and again, and by the time I finished, I could hear whip-o will... and it stayed with me throughout your verse. His melancholy song resounds through wooded bluff and forest, a perfect lullaby for all who hear You have captured perfectly, the melancholy, the wooded bluff and forest, and the lullaby... of ears peaked to hear the the song. In always shadowed ravine on moss covered stones of envious green, an eternal song of clarity. Hush and hear Here I had to stop and read, and read, and reread... "eternal song of clarity", was that true, ah, yes, there is truth in those words, and I hushed to hear. A wonderful piece Mark, one i had great pleasure in reading time and again. I think, lose mighty, and it is perfect, but that is just me. Thanks for a bit of joy tonight.
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