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« "Sweet William" by Ern Malley, Australia's National Poet | Main | How to Know the Secrets of the Orgasm (by Nin Andrews) »

June 19, 2008


I know so little about birds that it never occurred to me to wonder whether such a species exists. It's great that he made up the "hermit lark." When I read "Shy lark" at the start of a poem, I jump to the conclusion that the poet's nodding to Shelley's skylark, and that's as may be, but I think your explanation of Archie's "avian alter ego" comes closer to the mark.

It's interesting; when I read "Shy lark!" I immediately heard the great Johnny Mercer/Hoagy Carmichael jazz standard "Skylark," I guess because in the song the lyric sets skylark off by itself and is drawn out as if it were two words. Plus, it's such a melancholy song of yearning much as these 2 poems are.

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I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
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"After You've Gone"
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