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On “Bluebird” by Mary Coleridge
As set to music by Charles Villiers Stanford
by Carole Bugge

There are words that hurt
not because they are ugly
but because they are too beautiful

the heart swells impossibly when one hears them
feelings rising like flood waters
threatening to burst the dam of repression,
sanity and civilized discourse

one must approach such words cautiously, like a nervous horse
aware of the power of hooves to injure and maim
better to remain dulled to the splendor
of this spectacular train wreck called life
making us feel what we had hoped to avoid:
the raw, staggering beauty we know we must someday leave

words, words, words

How dare anyone write like that?
you think
how can they possibly say so much so simply
How dare they?
Very well, you think:
start with a bluebird and a lake

a bluebird and a lake
blue on blue
on blue


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