The Poetry of Ellin Anderson


Ellin Anderson

For Miss Susan and Miss Ann, Southern Belles

Trilby and Melanie daily engage;
One has an office, and one has a cage.
Melanie travels each morning, to fare
Homeward again to the house that they share.
“Trilby!  Trilby!” With chirps of delight,
She answers her name,
And more of the same
Greets the fair voyager, morning and night.

Little grey Trilby is covered with soft
Feathers to bear a canary aloft.
Highlights of ravishing color appear:
Silver and blue like a pearl by Vermeer.
“Trilby, Trilby!” She whistles for bread,
And flies round the room,
Candescent of plume,
Landing at last upon Melanie’s head.

 Peaches and spinach and bread soaked in milk
Make a bird healthy, with feathers like silk.
Trilby’s blue eggs fill a dish plated gold:
Lovely to look at, but sterile and cold.
Trilby, you see
like sweet Melanie
Is tarrying late
finding a mate:
Whatever will be is fated to be. 

Caged at the windowsill, Trilby can look
Where the spry chickadee flits by the brook. 
From the bare maples, a spring song is heard
Day after day by the wee sugar-bird:
“Fee-beee!  Fee-beee!” Pert black-and-white fellow,
Should Trilby go forth,
Forsaking the North,
Seeking cane-fields where canaries are yellow?

 Melanie walks in the orchard to find
Scenes that bring married contentment to mind.
Father bird sings in his brilliant sky-blue,
Sharing the tasks that a helpmeet must do:
“Truly!  Truly!  We live for love’s sake.” 
The little bluebirds
Who told her these words,
Made of blue sugar, will grace a white cake.

 Trilby is flying through forests unknown
To a carpenter’s shop, in the light of a Throne.
Someone is making an elegant cage,
Far from the sickness and pain of old age.
When souls are free, when hearts have flown,
The things that we love
Are waiting above
heaven with birdsong is truly our own.

© 2013 by Ellin Anderson. All rights reserved.
No part of this work may be copied or used in any way
without written permission from the author.


St. Patrick's Day
Tiger and Blue Jewel

Winter's Hill
Maple-Key Song
November in Camelot

Wassail Song
The Rooster at Midsummer
Liberty Enlightens the People

The Leap
The Goldfinch
Three Bears
Song of the Lily
White Tree at Twilight
The Christmas Tree

Grand Bois du Nord
The Owl
Moth Summer
The Little God of Joy
Photographing the Moon
A Rabbit
Rose, Do You Know
The Two Pining Bachelors

The Harvest Chorus
The Maple Mask
Ghost Cardinal

The Little Heath-Rose
The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Song for the Harp

The Spinner
The Prayer of Cephalus
Circe and Ulysses
The Black Arts
Tristan and Isolde & Jupiter's Two Casks

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More Poems by Ellin Anderson

The Little Mermaid
Anne's Hearth