SHORT POEMS AND SPIN-OFFS: EMILY AND THE EXPERIENCE OF SURPRISE
by Denise Levertov
This one is called "The Absentee."
I was thinking of that phrase and at this moment I cannot remember whose phrase it was -- William James, was it? -- about the unexamined life. This is a poem about a mockingbird, "The mockingbird of mockingbirds". Each year, I teach for three months in California, at Stanford, and there a lot of birds, singing birds, that I hear, January through March. This is a memorial poem for a particular mockingbird that I heard for two years and then no more.
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Last updated on March 10, 2008