Book Review Cento
Birds & Ada Limón

Found Poem: Thrasher


Found Poem: Long-billed Thrasher

Common, brushy,

Very similar to

Drabber, especially 


Grayish, whiter, blacker,

Blackish, even

Brown but less clearly



Blackish, grayish,

Whitish streak.


Source: The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America, written and illustrated by David Allen Sibley. (Alfred A. Knopf, 2003)


Method: I photocopied a random page of a field guide to birds, and concocted the blackout poem above. The last two lines often characterize my experience of bird watching, especially during the busy spring. I've seen the Long-billed Thrasher's Eastern cousin, the Brown Thrasher, but never the LBT itself. One day!

The Poetry Friday roundup for April 29th is at Jone Rush MacCulloch's blog.


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It is rather funny with the final lines: "Blackish, grayish, /Whitish" Yes, I can hear a birder describing it now! And it's always delightful, like yours, to see how a blackout poem emerges! Hope you're having a great weekend!

Yes, indeed, Linda. I was out birdwatching earlier today! Thank you for stopping by.

Ha! I thought that by this: The last two lines often characterize my experience of bird watching," you were going to say something like "they all look alike to me"--but you fooled me and made me go back to understand your "whitish streak"! Love how you worked this.

Thanks for reading, Heidi! This was pretty silly, but I wanted to have a Poetry Friday poem. I like watching birds, but I miss a LOT because they're so dang fast.

"but less clearly rufous." — I now feel compelled to find a way to work these lines into a conversation. :)

I'm reminded of someone describing the notes they detect in a wine. Same vibe of interest and passion. Lovely, Susan!

Karen, ahahaha, great idea about working that into a conversation. Isn't "rufous" a great word? I wish we used it more often. The lines almost could be about wine, now that I think about it! Thanks for stopping by.

Identifying migratory birds and small insects brings out the most vague in our descriptions! "Blackish, grayish," smallish and usually moving too fast for anything more than that!

Mary Lee, yes, it does. Also hard is telling other people where a bird is--kind of tree, which branch. Birders often use a clock analogy: it's in the oak at about 11 o'clock, which is great--if you know what an oak looks like. Lots to learn for me!

I finally got around to reading your found poem, Susan. It is interesting how your poem evolved around colors as simple descriptors.

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