Song

By Alicia Ostriker b. 1937 Alicia Ostriker
Some claim the origin of song
was a war cry
some say it was a rhyme
telling the farmers when to plant and reap
don’t they know the first song was a lullaby
pulled from a mother’s sleep
said the old woman

A significant
factor generating my delight in being
alive this springtime
is the birdsong
that like a sweeping mesh has captured me
like diamond rain I can’t
hear it enough said the tulip

lifetime after lifetime
we surged up the hill
I and my dear brothers
thirsty for blood
uttering
our beautiful songs
said the dog

Source: Poetry (February 2011).

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This poem originally appeared in the February 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

February 2011
 Alicia  Ostriker

Biography

Poet, critic, and activist Alicia Ostriker was born in 1937 in New York City. She earned degrees from Brandeis and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Twice a finalist for the National Book Award, Ostriker has published numerous volumes of poetry, including The Book of Seventy (2009), which received the Jewish National Book Award. Other books of poetry include No Heaven (2005); The Volcano Sequence (2002); Little Space (1998), . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Music

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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