|Walt Whitman's Canary|
I had a wonderful time reading at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton, with Will Eaves. You can see (but not hear) me reading a poem here. Will is more audible reading from his debut collection Sound Houses, and you can hear him even better on Radio 4's Start the Week (Writers on Families). His new novel is called This is Paradise.
Before leaving Bolton I paid homage to Walt Whitman’s canary, which is in the town’s museum. (You can read why here.) It is a very beautiful bird, a cheering sight, as it was for the father of free verse all those years ago. Here is Whitman’s poem ‘My Canary Bird’ (1888):
Did we count great, O soul, to penetrate the themes of mighty books,
Absorbing deep and full from thoughts, plays, speculations?
But now from thee to me, caged bird, to feel thy joyous warble,
Filling the air, the lonesome room, the long forenoon,
Is it not just as great, O soul?