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Short poem

David Herbert Lawrence (1885-1930)

The Blue Jay

              1The blue jay with a crest on his head
              2Comes round the cabin in the snow.
              3He runs in the snow like a bit of blue metal,
              4Turning his back on everything.

              5From the pine-tree that towers and hisses like a pillar of shaggy cloud
              6Immense above the cabin
              7Comes a strident laugh as we approach, this little black dog and I.
              8So halts the little black bitch on four spread paws in the snow
              9And looks up inquiringly into the pillar of cloud,
            10With a tinge of misgiving.
            11Ca-a-a! comes the scrape of ridicule out of the tree.

            12What voice of the Lord is that, from the tree of smoke?

            13Oh Bibbles, little black bitch in the snow,
            14With a pinch of snow in the groove of your silly snub nose.
            15What do you look at me for?
            16What do you look at me for, with such misgiving?

            17It's the blue jay laughing at us.
            18It's the blue jay jeering at us, Bibs.

            19Every day since the snow is here
            20The blue jay paces round the cabin, very busy, picking up bits,
            21Turning his back on us all,
            22And bobbing his thick dark crest about the snow, as if darkly saying:
            23I ignore those folk who look out.

            24You acid-blue metallic bird,
            25You thick bird with a strong crest
            26Who are you?
            27Whose boss are you, with all your bully way?
            28You copper-sulphate blue-bird!


Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: D. H. Lawrence, Birds, Beasts and Flowers: Poems (London: Martin Secker, 1923): 150-51. PR 6023 A93B5 1923 Robarts Library
First publication date: 1923
Publication date note: see Roberts A27
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 2000.
Recent editing: 4:2001/12/28

Composition date note: by Feb. 7, 1923 (Ellis, 568)
Form: free verse

Other poems by David Herbert Lawrence