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The Well Read Poem

Aug 9, 2021

Welcome to Season 4 of The Well Read Poem with poet and classicist Thomas Banks. This series of poetry readings will focus on poems having animals as the subject. Some poems will be by well known poets, while others will be by less popular poets.
This week’s poem is “The Blinded Bird” by Thomas Hardy. A late Victorian author, Hardy was known for his rather pessimistic writing as well as his defense of the beautiful, innocent and weak creatures of the world. Poem begins at timestamp 7:59. Check out our sister podcast, The Literary Life Podcast, for more great discussions of literature!

The Blinded Bird

By Thomas Hardy

So zestfully canst thou sing?
And all this indignity,
With God's consent, on thee!
Blinded ere yet a-wing
By the red-hot needle thou,
I stand and wonder how
So zestfully thou canst sing!

Resenting not such wrong,
Thy grievous pain forgot,
Eternal dark thy lot,
Groping thy whole life long;
After that stab of fire;
Enjailed in pitiless wire;
Resenting not such wrong!

Who hath charity? This bird.
Who suffereth long and is kind,
Is not provoked, though blind
And alive ensepulchred?
Who hopeth, endureth all things?
Who thinketh no evil, but sings?
Who is divine? This bird.