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Sound Poems

Table of Contents

  1. The Sound of the Trees by Robert Frost
  2. Water Noises by Elizabeth Madox Roberts
  3. A March Glee by John Burroughs
  4. I heard a Fly buzz when I died by Emily Dickinson
  5. The Tree Stands Very Straight and Still by Annette Wynne
  6. Wood Dove by Hilda Conkling

  1. The Sound of the Trees

    by Robert Frost

    I wonder about the trees.
    Why do we wish to bear
    Forever the noise of these
    More than another noise
    So close to our dwelling place?
    We suffer them by the day
    Till we lose all measure of pace,
    And fixity in our joys,
    And acquire a listening air.
    They are that that talks of going
    But never gets away;
    And that talks no less for knowing,
    As it grows wiser and older,
    That now it means to stay.
    My feet tug at the floor
    And my head sways to my shoulder
    Sometimes when I watch trees sway,
    From the window or the door.
    I shall set forth for somewhere,
    I shall make the reckless choice
    Some day when they are in voice
    And tossing so as to scare
    The white clouds over them on.
    I shall have less to say,
    But I shall be gone.

  2. Water Noises

    by Elizabeth Madox Roberts

    When I am playing by myself,
    And all the boys are lost around,
    Then I can hear the water go;
    It makes a little talking sound.

    Along the rocks below the tree,
    I see it ripple up and wink;
    And I can hear it saying on,
    "And do you think? And do you think?"

    A bug shoots by that snaps and ticks,
    And a bird flies up beside the tree
    To go into the sky to sing.
    I hear it say, "Killdee, killdee!"

    Or else a yellow cow comes down
    To splash a while and have a drink.
    But when she goes I still can hear
    The water say, "And do you think?"

  3. A March Glee

    by John Burroughs

    I hear the wild geese honking
    From out the misty night,—
    A sound of moving armies
    On-sweeping in their might;
    The river ice is drifting
    Beneath their northward flight.

    I hear the bluebird plaintive
    From out the morning sky,
    Or see his wings a-twinkle
    That with the azure vie;
    No other bird more welcome,
    No more prophetic cry.

    I hear the sparrow's ditty
    Anear my study door;
    A simple song of gladness
    That winter days are o'er
    My heart is singing with him,
    I love him more and more.

    I hear the starling fluting
    His liquid "O-ka-lee;"
    I hear the downy drumming,
    His vernal reveillé;
    From out the maple orchard
    The nuthatch calls to me.

    Oh, spring is surely coming.
    Her couriers fill the air;
    Each morn are new arrivals,
    Each night her ways prepare;
    I scent her fragrant garments,
    Her foot is on the stair.

  4. Dying

    by Emily Dickinson

    I heard a fly buzz when I died;
    The stillness round my form
    Was like the stillness in the air
    Between the heaves of storm.

    The eyes beside had wrung them dry,
    And breaths were gathering sure
    For that last onset, when the king
    Be witnessed in his power.

    I willed my keepsakes, signed away
    What portion of me I
    Could make assignable, — and then
    There interposed a fly,

    With blue, uncertain, stumbling buzz,
    Between the light and me;
    And then the windows failed, and then
    I could not see to see.

  5. The Tree Stands Very Straight and Still

    by Annette Wynne

    The tree stands very straight and still
    All night long far on the hill;
    But if I go and listen near
    A million little sounds I hear,
    The leaves are little whispering elves
    Talking, playing by themselves,
    Playing softly altogether
    In the warm or windy weather,
    Talking softly to the sky
    Or any bird that dartles by,
    O little elves within the tree,
    Is there no word to tell to me?

  6. Wood Dove

    by Hilda Conkling

    When morn in breaking
    When the sun is rising over
    dark, blue hills,
    When mists go by
    I hear a voice say
    Coo . . . coo . . .
    It is Mistress Wood Dove
    Hidden and alone,
    Glad of morning.
    I call,
    She answers:
    Morning is sweeter
    For her voice.

  7. Hermit Thrush

    by Hilda Conkling

    Something that cannot be said in words . . .
    Something sweet and unknown . . .
    The wind . . . the brook . . .
    Something that comes to a trembling fuller tone
    Like a waterfall . . .
    That little brown creature is singing
    A music of water, a music of worlds;
    He will fly away south,
    But his song stays in the heart
    Once it is heard.

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