Posted by: barn owl | March 23, 2008

Equinox Poem

The vernal equinox this year fell on Thursday, March 20, and we have had beautiful weather here in South Texas, as spring arrives. Here’s a poem by William Carlos Williams, a left-leaning Imagist poet and physician, which resonates for me in a season typically dominated by religious observances, to which I don’t relate.


Ring-billed Gull, Larus delawarensis
Photo: Dr. Jim Smith © 2008


My townspeople, beyond in the great world,
Are many with whom it were far more
Profitable for me to live than here with you.
These whirr about me calling, calling!
And for my own part I answer them loud as I can,
But they, being free pass!
I remain! Therefore, listen!
For you will not soon have another singer

First I say this: You have seen
The strange birds, have you not, that sometimes
Rest upon our river in winter?
Let them cause you to think well then of the storms
That drive many to shelter. These things
Do not happen without reason.

And next thing I say is this:
I saw an eagle once circling against the clouds
Over one of our principal churches
Easter, it was a beautiful day!
Three gulls came from above the river
And crossed slowly seaward!
Oh, I know you have your own hymns, I have heard them
And because I knew they invoked some great protector
I could not be angry with you, no matter
How much they outraged true music

You see, it is not necessary for us to leap at each other,
And, as I told you, in the end
The gulls moved seaward very quietly.

~William Carlos Williams



  1. Thank you for posting this! This is just what I needed to hear this week. I’ll be back reading your blog in the future.

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