"Starlings in Winter"
By Mary Oliver
Chunky and noisy, but with stars in their black feathers, they spring from the telephone wire and instantly they are acrobats in the freezing wind. And now, in the theater of air, they swing over buildings, dipping and rising; they float like one stippled star that opens, becomes for a moment fragmented, then closes again; and you watch and you try but you simply can’t imagine how they do it with no articulated instruction, no pause, only the silent confirmation that they are this notable thing, this wheel of many parts, that can rise and spin over and over again, full of gorgeous life. Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us, even in the leafless winter, even in the ashy city. I am thinking now of grief, and of getting past it; I feel my boots trying to leave the ground, I feel my heart pumping hard. I want to think again of dangerous and noble things. I want to be light and frolicsome. I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing, as though I had wings.
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I absolutely love this poem. Even with the "noise" of this poem, I feel its solitude. I hear their criesand see them fly through the air in groups before they fragment and come back together again.I love the quiet desire, the wistfulness, of those last 4-6 lines--that yearning to feel that lightnessand freedom and playfulness we often attribute to our younger and more carefree days.