The White Bird

Man of the flame-eyes
And mouth with the bitter twist of in-grown laughter,
And little bald man . . . whose seeming stillness
Is akin to the velocity of a spinning star
Holding its perfect poise—
You two yea-sayers
Beetling over the little deniers,
Two great levelers, building from the earth up, among
puttiers and pluggers of rotten piles—
You of the rich life, running in ample measure, amidst
life deleted of its old raw fire as earth is deleted
of its coal and iron— You be mighty hunters and keepers,
Trotsky and Lenine—
Yet can you hold . . . the unconstrainable One
Of the slow and flaming deaths
And multiple resurrections ?

Hands, reaching in hundreds of millions,
Backs, straightening under the keeling floor of the world,
Can you hold the great white bird?—
She that sweeps low over the chain-gangs
When they glance up from their stone7breaking
Into morning's burning gold;
She that goes down into underground cells,
Sending the cool wind of her wings
Through unsevering stone . . .
And departs, unbeknown, from those who announce her,
Saying: 'Lo, she is ours!'

Ah, what a mighty destiny shall be yours,
Should you persuade her—
The Unconstrainable One
Who has slid out of the arms of so many lovers,
Leaving'not'a feather in their hands!

Rate this poem:(5.00 / 1 vote)
110 Views

Translation

Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • Chinese - Simplified 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • Chinese - Traditional 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Spanish Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • Japanese 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Portuguese Português (Portuguese)
  • German Deutsch (German)
  • Arabic العربية (Arabic)
  • French Français (French)
  • Russian Русский (Russian)
  • Kannada ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • Korean 한국어 (Korean)
  • Hebrew עברית (Hebrew)
  • Ukrainian Український (Ukrainian)
  • Urdu اردو (Urdu)
  • Hungarian Magyar (Hungarian)
  • Hindi मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesian Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italian Italiano (Italian)
  • Tamil தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Turkish Türkçe (Turkish)
  • Telugu తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • Thai ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Vietnamese Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Czech Čeština (Czech)
  • Polish Polski (Polish)
  • Indonesian Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Romanian Românește (Romanian)
  • Dutch Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Greek Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latin Latinum (Latin)
  • Swedish Svenska (Swedish)
  • Danish Dansk (Danish)
  • Finnish Suomi (Finnish)
  • Persian فارسی (Persian)
  • Yiddish ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • Armenian հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norwegian Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English English (English)

Discuss this Lola Ridge poem with the community:

Citation

Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

Style:MLAChicagoAPA

"The White Bird" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 16 Oct. 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/25947/the-white-bird>.

We need you!

Help us build the largest poetry community and poems collection on the web!

Other poems by

Lola Ridge

»

Our favorite collection of

Famous Poets

»

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.