I’m so delighted to have a poem from my pamphlet, ‘The Henkeeper’s Almanac’ picked up by Candlestick Press, for their beautiful new book ‘Twelve Poems about Chickens’. Here are poems which celebrate the quirks and curiosities of chickens. Sentiments range from Sir Charles Sedley’s 17th century complaint at an early wakening:
Thou Cursed Cock, with thy perpetual Noise,
May’st thou be Capon made, and lose thy Voice
to a meditation by Kay Ryan on a chick breaking out of the egg:
It can’t afford doubt. Who can?
Doubt uses albumen
at twice the rate of work.
‘Those dabbing hens I ferociously love’ – how I do love Norman McCaig’s poem ‘Cock before dawn’.
The West and the East are measured from me…
It’s time I crowed. The sun will be waiting.
I’ve had cockerels with just this megalomaniac streak, rigid on a wallhead in the morning, crowing insanely at all they can see.
I contributed a little poem about a black Araucana hen I used to keep in Scotland, drinking from the pond in a blowy March.