“Song of the Unseen Bird”
To walk so long with her in so much quiet
Then hear that unseen bird, whose name
I don’t know, wouldn’t know where to find,
Singing somewhere among the leaf sheen,
Was to realize why, when his beloved hero-killer
Resolves at last to die, Homer gives us
Not the laments the sea nymphs wail
But the nonsense song of their limpid names
He makes up: Limnoreia and Doto and Proto
And sometimes there are no words
And Kallianassa and Kymodoke and Maera
And sometimes no words could be sad enough.
Ashwing, Seedquit, Spotted Larmer:
Tee-way tee-wee tee-wooo you sang to us.
H.L. Spelman is a first year doctoral student in classical languages at Balliol College, Oxford and a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His poetry has appeared in Blackbird, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and Southern Poetry Review.