Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

            I spooked this guy on a walk one summer afternoon, and he ended up in New Oxford Review, Jan.-Feb., 1981, as a result.

To a Quail


Flash!  Flushed, it rushes and, flurrying, flies,

No covey, but one lone quail, across the grass,

While, fluttering likes its flight, the notes it cries

Float flute-trilled thrills, through back the hushed air pass.

Oh fleet flinger of wing-beats into space,

O sweet singer to carol the quickening dawn,

One breathless, trembling moment saw you race

The sun to the distant trees, and you were gone.

Hopkins held all Nature was news of God:

Free windhover, caged lark, unleaving grove,

Stippled trout, generations that trod and trod,

And I’d thought, “What treasure if true, then, Nature’s trove!”

And standing there, startled and shaken by your shimmering flight,

I knew beyond all doubt that he was right.

 Stars Through the Clouds

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest book from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.

Donald T. Williams, PhD


About gandalf30598

Theologian, philosopher, poet, and critic; minister of the Gospel who makes his living by teaching medieval and renaissance literature; dual citizen of Narnia and Middle Earth.

Posted on February 17, 2014, in Donald Williams, Poetry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Don, thank you for sharing your poem. Even small encounters like this one reminds us of God’s gift of nature. I remember seeing an owl for the first time and how fascinated I was by the experience. Not really poem-worthy, but it does make me stop and think about how wonderful a treasure nature really is.

  2. Nature’s trove is full of treasure, it’s true. But we are blind accountants and embezzlers, and cannot read the balance sheet.

  3. No, Michael, you are right. But having our noses rubbed in the figures can prepare us for the grace that restores us to an honest accounting.

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