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A Robin Perched on a Maple-Top
Nancy Byrd Turner


A robin perched on a maple-top
Had sung for hours with never a stop,
Over and over, clear and strong,
A jubilant solo of prideful song,
Over and over, the morning long.

I went to the window. "Bird," I said,
"It's fine to be proud, but you've lost your head.
There've been springtimes before,
And a tree, and a nest,
A lady bird sitting, and all the rest;
It's as old as the hills."


But he stuck out his chest
And sang all the louder, the impudent thing:
             Not my tree!
             Not my bough!
             Not my mate!
             Not my nest!
             Not my spring!

This poem is in the public domain.


Nancy Byrd Turner (1880 - 1971) was born in Virginia. A descendant of both Thomas Jefferson and Pocohantas, Nancy began writing poetry as a child. She studied to become a teacher, and did teach for a few years, but eventually she became a magazine editor. During the course of her career, she published 15 books, several songs, and her work appeared regularly in the leading magazines of her day. Late in her life, Nancy became a freelance writer and a popular lecturer.








Post New Comment:
Wilda Morris:
A fun poem!
Posted 05/17/2021 08:26 PM
A useful reminder that what is familiar and barely noticeable to one's self is new and wonderful to someone else, and to allow them their joy!
Posted 05/17/2021 01:15 PM
Darrell Arnold:
I enjoy clever rhyming patterns. I also have a robin who awakens me every morning. Much to our chagrin, he has discovered the mirrors on our cars. He flits from one mirror to another, and from one car to another, and preens and talks to the robin in the mirror. Unfortunately, he also poops down the sides of our vehicles while he's talking to his reflection. We just live with it and wash the cars daily.
Posted 05/17/2021 12:21 PM
Clever and fun!
Posted 05/17/2021 11:35 AM
I love this!!
Posted 05/17/2021 09:06 AM
This poem made me remember a favorite by Robert Frost: A Minor Bird.
Posted 05/17/2021 08:47 AM
michael escoubas:
This poem and poet are new to me . . . and totally delightful, perfect springtime poem.
Posted 05/17/2021 08:33 AM

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