Sonnet: On the superiority of bird song – a poem by Adam Lee

Sonnet: On the superiority of bird song

The bird in the birch tree outside your window,
singing low from the glowing centre of his breast,
sees you now, sweating at the little, cramped desk,
trying to pull down the world’s disparate elements

to justify your hurt, rage, suffering and malevolence
on what is very evidently a blank and defeated page.
White as a dead city or a planet with no atmosphere,
you gaze into the absolute nothing of your pilgrimage.

Then yawn, shrug and cast away your pen in deference:
knowing nothing you could say would make a difference.
Words are discords, which only ever dazzle, hint or evade;
picked up, shaken at the sky, put down again in weak rage

because it’s useless and only the summer bird can say it clear,
but written words are locked in a thick ribbed ice, like winter.


Adam Lee lives and works as a bid writer in Manchester. Over the years he has studied 18th c. English Literature, Psychology and History. His poetry is largely concerned with time, death, loss, resurrection and renewal.


  1. Cynthia Pitman says:

    I love this poem. I love its sonnet form, which does not confine. Rather, it expands. I love its diction, which clarifies rather than obscures.


    1. Adam Lee says:

      Thank you


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