Birds, Poetry

The poem Blackbird, by Adam Zagajewski


A few days ago I heard a short programme about the blackbird, on BBC Radio 4. The blackbird is my favourite bird. I’ve already written a little about it here. There was lots of good stuff in the programme. And the tone was peaceful and calming too, something I’ve begun to seek out in recent weeks, for good reason, but one I’ll keep to myself.

Only two minutes into the programme was a poem by Polish poet Adam Zagajewski, who I’d never heard of before. I don’t read much poetry. Most doesn’t do much for me, which is sometimes frustrating. Certainly I’m more a prose person. But on occasion I find a poem that jumps out, or rather into me, as though it had been waiting all along for me to find it. This happened with Zagajewski’s poem, Blackbird, which is available via the following link, translated by Clare Cavanagh. I hope you like it too.

Blackbird, by Adam Zagajewski


The BBC radio programme about the blackbird was thirty minutes in length and part of a series called Natural Histories. Despite the graphics used on their web page, it’s not a progamme specifically for children. There are other programmes in the series, about sharks, monkeys, even about the humble but amazing ant. The link below will ask you to register, but if you click it within the next week or two you may get away with choosing to register later.

BBC Natural Histories series: Blackbird


Wikipedia’s page on Zagajewski


The mystery of life is the answer, not the question.


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