National Poetry Month: April 21st

April 21, 2014

The Whippoorwill by Conrad Aiken

Last night, as I lay half awake,
A whippoorwill was in this tree,
And sang, for the three-quarters moon,
Another whippoorwill, and me.

At first, I heard him far away —
A ghostly whiplash. Then I heard,
From the tall tree beneath the moon,
What seemed indeed a different bird —

so near, so loud, so sweet he sang;
and what, far off, seemed harsh and strange,
Grew to a beauty in the moon,
Even as I listened seemed to change.

“Why? Why:” he asked….And then was gone
Without a sound of wing or leaf.
And the tall tree stood carved in stone;
The moonlight night as still as grief.


This poem was selected by Laura H. (Adult Services Librarian)

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