To a Skylark

Sweet
trilling song.
Up on high
I spot him hovering.
Skylark.

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Out on our tandem last Sunday, cycling through open countryside, I became away of bird song and recognised it as a skylark, also known in our house as ‘the never-wert bird’! I looked around and, up high over my left shoulder, eventually spotted it hovering; something of a rare sighting these days.

The skylark gained the name ‘never-wert bird’ in my childhood, aided and abetted by my father, also a poetry lover, from the poem ‘To a Skylark’ by Percy Bysshe Shelley which, as I’m sure you know, begins with the lines “Hail to thee, blithe Spirit / Bird thou never wert”.

One of my clearest memories of seeing skylarks was from when I was a primary school teacher many years ago. My classroom looked out over a fairly wide expanse of grass between our school and the associated Infant School next door. This stretch of grass was out-of-bounds for playing on and surprisingly skylarks nested there. What a delight it was for me and my class of 7-8 year olds, to see through the classroom windows, their regular comings and goings.

Needless to say ‘To a Skylark’ was my choice of poem for this weeks ’email’ session of our poetry group. We are unable to meet at the moment for obvious reasons, so instead we each email a poem via a group email to one of our members who correlates them into a pdf file for circulation to the whole group, to include those members who ‘don’t do email’. The only requirement is that the poem should preferably be uplifting and that we give reasons for our choice.

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