Saturday 24 October 2020

Lars Gustafsson: 'Vårens glada fågelkör'

 Spring’s joyous choir of birds


(Dedicated to Staffan Söderblom)


Ah those joyous voices of birds in spring!

How well I too remember the choir

of those small wingèd singers


They were borne in on a special tray

by schoolmaster Gustav Edin,

extremely dusty, increasingly pale in colour

and – it might possibly seem –


somewhat overambitiously


sparrow and nightingale, hawk and pied fly-catcher,

meadow pipit and dipper –


And from a gramophone record

from Radio Sweden, much over-used,

all their joyous voices were played


I never learnt

to distinguish one chirp from the other


And now in October the dull voice

of the curlew is all that is left


I did however

finally learn that one

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