The Bird of Dawning Singeth All Night Long


Horatio dreamed indifferently when
He slept alone—which was most nights. His bed
In Wittenberg was narrow and spartan,
but his dream this night was more like a song
made special by the maid, Ophelia. He dreamed

of Hamlet’s face, wounded and bleeding and poisoned.
Ophelia sang in a hushed whisper:
The bird of dawning Singeth all night long.
The bird of dawning Singeth all night long.
Over and over, she sang: a sentence too short

for the very reflexiveness the words
implored—Horatio’s dream tragedy
of Hamlet’s dream of Ophelia.
The very artifice of her bright song
would lead them to their death.

The cock began to crow. All was not right
in Denmark. Horatio lay panting.
He had come all this way to witness
his friend’s death. Barnardo awaited,
Hamlet awaited, Silence awaited.

Published by extrasimile

define: extra: excess, more than is needed, required or desired; something additional of the same kind. define: simile: a simile is a type of figurative language, language that does not mean exactly what it says, that makes a comparison between two otherwise unalike objects or ideas by connecting them with the words “like” or “as.” The reader can see a similar connection with the verbs resemble, compare and liken. Similes allow an author to emphasize a certain characteristic of an object by comparing that object to an unrelated object that is an example of that characteristic. define: extra: an minor actor in a crowd scene

2 thoughts on “The Bird of Dawning Singeth All Night Long

  1. Thanks, John,. this is the first time I’ve been able to sustain any poetry work in a long time. it feels good. Congratulations on your new book. I haven’t bought it yet, but will. Thomas Davis’ review on his blog makes it sound great and I’m sure it will be. three cheers from this side of the pond!

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