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The Naming of Birds
Edwin Romond


for Jan Gebert

I know the ones most people know: robins,
cardinals, and I can recognize a woodpecker
with my eyes closed. But I envy people who
can label the others, those birds from far
away, the ones who drop by for a week

or two just to startle and delight watchers
smart enough to know how rare rare
birds can be. I love the ones with striking
rainbow feathers, but I can’t give them
a name, the same for that super cool bird

with feet like red boots. I love that guy
but I don’t know his name either.
Sometimes I feel I’m at a giant bird party
and wish they were wearing “Hello,
My Name Is …” tags so I could join

in the pleasure real watchers have,
those who can spot a bird on a branch
or winging on a piece of sky and, like God
in Eden’s Garden, look at them with love
then give each of them a name.

© by Edwin Romond.
Used with the author's permission.



Edwin Romond  is a poet, playwright, and composer. Now retired, he taught English for more than 30 years in Wisconsin and New Jersey. Edwin's award-winning work has appeared in numerous literary journals, college text books, and anthologies, and has been featured on National Public Radio. His newest collection, Man at the Railing, from NYQ Books, recently won the Laura Boss Narrative Poetry Award. A native of Woodbridge, New Jersey, Edwin now lives in Wind Gap, Pennsylvania, with his wife. Learn more about him at




Post New Comment:
Lori Levy:
Definitely identify with this poem!
Posted 04/12/2016 01:55 PM
Great, great poem! I am learning more of those names - but often have to use a book/field guide to help me out. The name tag idea is awesome. ;-) thanks for sharing.
Posted 04/12/2016 09:24 AM
Wonderful poem. Names are of such importance to we word people.
Posted 04/12/2016 08:18 AM
Yep. They're always here. The world would be an empty place without birds. Like this poem a lot.
Posted 04/12/2016 07:39 AM
i feel the same way:) enjoyed this poem a few reads through. simply wonderful!
Posted 04/12/2016 07:32 AM
one bird at a time ... love your poem!
Posted 04/12/2016 06:21 AM

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