Skip to main content


Showing posts from June, 2024

Nightingale or Toad anyone?

  The Nightingale has to be one of the most celebrated birds in poetry and song – we'll come to the toad by and by – so one approaches this over-poeticised bird with a certain caution. But it was when I heard it for real, I have to say I could understand why it's inspired so many poets and composers. The nightingale doesn't come to us here in Devon, so it was extra special for me to hear it outside my daughter's house in Essex. I was struck by the flow of the song, its sudden silence and then resumption; the power and urgency.  Perhaps that's why we attribute of all sorts of emotion to this bird's song. But, at the end of the day – or night – it's just a bird singing. Still, I found myself, well if not exactly inspired, at least moved to make my own response, to write a poem. The Song of the Nightingale Time for a moment’s pause in my performance. Silence can speak as strong as utterance – restraint produces passion in the gaps – the gap