The Oven Bird

Original Text: 
Robert Frost, Mountain Interval (New York: Henry Holt, 1921), p. 27. PS 3511 R94 M6 ROBA.
2Loud, a mid-summer and a mid-wood bird,
3Who makes the solid tree trunks sound again.
4He says that leaves are old and that for flowers
5Mid-summer is to spring as one to ten.
6He says the early petal-fall is past
7When pear and cherry bloom went down in showers
8On sunny days a moment overcast;
9And comes that other fall we name the fall.
10He says the highway dust is over all.
11The bird would cease and be as other birds
12But that he knows in singing not to sing.
13The question that he frames in all but words
14Is what to make of a diminished thing.


1] The oven bird, a warbler, is also known as the "teacher" bird after its call. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.