Bird-Language by W.H. Auden
Trying to understand the words
Uttered on all sides by birds,
I recognize in what I hear
Noises that betoken fear.
Though some of them, I’m certain, must
Stand for rage, bravado, lust,
All other notes that birds employ
Sound like synonyms for joy.
See more excellent poems in Sabio’s Poetry Anthology
About W.H. Auden (1907 – 1973): there are tons of webpages covering Audens’s life – he was a fascinating person. I won’t add more. Here is the wiki article.
My Impression: I just went to my first local poetry meeting. The poet we explored last night was Auden. I was only able to read a bit before I went. Each of us took turns reading our favorite poems of Auden. Of the few I had read, I liked this one the best. It was simple, direct and yet deep. But most of the poems others read left me baffled — no idea what was being said. So Auden is not on my favorite poet list. He packs most his poems with erudition — a trait I don’t enjoy. But he was prolific and crafted many different styles, so I am sure I would also enjoy many more of his poems if I keep looking. He is incredibly skilled, I am told.