Hunters in the Snow: A Bird on a Limb

Hunters in the Snow by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

A Bird on a Limb in Hunters in the Snow

A bird, the colour of old paint,
sings a rusty-hinge tune.

Skips a note.
Its song has a sticky piano key.

The air waits.
No reply. No chorus. No riff.

There’s a sniff of change in the air.
Or is it the bird’s ab lib…

A bird, the colour of old paint ,
repeats its song again.

for dVerse Open Pub Night and shared with @Experimentsinfc #APoemADay on Twitter   © Misky 2021

19 responses to “Hunters in the Snow: A Bird on a Limb”

  1. Love, love, love it! So much musicality here, very much focuses on the sounds and vocals of the bird. I adore the imagery, it’s swirling and fantastic. ❤ ❤

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  2. That’s a fine first line – I’m intrigued – is this a real bird or a bird in a painting? Is this the real world or is the painting the real world, and we are…? Spare, leaving all that space for our imagination. Terrific.

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  3. This is incredibly deep and philosophical! 💝 So much to love here from the image of “Its song has a sticky piano key,” to “There’s a sniff of change in the air.” Perhaps, an omen is about to be realized 🙂

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  4. You’ve described the bird’s song so well here with “Its song has a sticky piano key.” I like how you cut it out of the painting you shared earlier this week (I think it’s from there) which gives it more impact as it is still a solitary bird even amongst the assembled group with:
    “The air waits.
    No reply. No chorus. No riff.”

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  5. Without the image, the opening line is mysterious ‘A Bird on a Limb in Hunters in the Snow’ – what does this mean? It certainly draws the reader in, searching for an explanation. I love the stark contrast of black and white here ‘the colour of old paint’ and the ‘sticky piano key.’

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  6. I love Bruegel’s work, Hunters in the Snow in particular, and I love the way you zoomed into the bird ‘the colour of old paint’ and brought it to life through its ’rusty-hinge tune’, Marilyn. And I agree with Ron, about the fullness expressed so sparsely.

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  7. I love your opening–the color of old paint, and the poem itself is like a snapshot. It’s so sparse, but I can imagine being there, seeing/hearing the bird–and what comes next? I love the Bruegel painting.

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