Sunday, 15 April 2012

Sunday Stamps - Black Swans

As I didn't have anything suitable for the poetry theme this week, I went with this one, that fits with my A-Z Challenge theme of Australia. The swan on this stamp looks so graceful, its poetic.

Black Swans are quite common in Australia and whilst they have become popular in areas of Europe, certainly in the UK we are not self sustaining on breeding them. Ironically, there is a small group of black swans in the nearby town of Dawlish Devon.

The Black Swan by Randall Jarrell
When the swans turned my sister into a swan
I would go to the lake, at night, from milking:
The sun would look out through the reeds like a swan,
A swan's red beak; and the beak would open
And inside there was darkness, the stars and the moon.

Out on the lake, a girl would laugh.
"Sister, here is your porridge, sister,"
I would call; and the reeds would whisper,
"Go to sleep, go to sleep, little swan."
My legs were all hard and webbed, and the silky

Hairs of my wings sank away like stars
In the ripples that ran in and out of the reeds:
I heard through the lap and hiss of water
Someone's "Sister . . . sister," far away on the shore,
And then as I opened my beak to answer

I heard my harsh laugh go out to the shore
And saw - saw at last, swimming up from the green
Low mounds of the lake, the white stone swans:
The white, named swans . . . "It is all a dream,"
I whispered, and reached from the down of the pallet

To the lap and hiss of the floor.
And "Sleep, little sister," the swan all sang
From the moon and stars and frogs of the floor.
But the swan my sister called, "Sleep at last, little sister,"
And stroked all night, with a black wing, my wings. 

Submitted as Sunday Stamps hosted by Viridian's Postcard Blog


  1. There is a black swan in Stratford that i am always looking for whenever I go there. I am still waiting for the perfect photo of him. I often think he must be so lonely, even though he has the other Mute swans for company.

  2. My goodness I'm having an educational Sunday Stamps session. I'd never heard of this poet. The poem seems reminiscent of Grimms or Hans Anderson fairytale. Oh, and nice stamp by the way.

  3. Thank you for sharing a lovely peom that goes so well with this stamp.

  4. The poem and stamp go together perfectly.

  5. That's a wonderful poem!


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