Laurie Byro’s The Bird Artists

Thanks to Pascale Petit, I’ve been introduced to Laurie Byro’s
The Bird Artists
   
   
Jane Eyre’s Daughter
Laurie Byro
  
I kept thinking I was Jane Eyre’s daughter.
I suspected my mother really wanted a son.
 
Fascinated with attics I foraged through chests
with breakable locks filled with baptism gowns,
 
sniffed among moth-balls for matchboxes
from exotic pool halls, hints of adoption papers.
 
I kept thinking I was Jane Eyre’s daughter, trying
to find myself in the travel section of the library
 
searching for a honeymoon in Katmandu.
St John bristled when I wanted our first dance
 
to be to the tune of Sexual Healing. Every one
broke off the engagement before the tickets’
 
non-refundable fee kicked in. I kept thinking
I was Jane Eyre’s daughter. Weddings
 
were unpleasant since I would rush in late,
panting “I object” for the sheer joy of seeing
 
horrified expressions, maids tearfully ringing
hands and not bells. Today as I left another
 
thwarted nuptial, four fine blackbirds watched me
from the wires which connected my rubber ball
 
heart to my deeply anticipated “his”. My mother,
Aunt Reed, dear crazy Bertha, and daddy
 
in his mourning coat: the grim four posed perfectly
still like chessmen while I crossed my bosom
 
which throbbed like the July sun and waited
with little patience for mother to play her next card.
 
 
from The Bird Artists.

10 thoughts on “Laurie Byro’s The Bird Artists

  1. Laurie Byro

    thanks very much Michelle, I had so much fun writing this one. Someone asked me my favorite book or character and then said “so, write a poem about it.”

    And looking forward to reading your Bertha poem.

    Peace
    Laurie

  2. Barbara S

    I liked this a lot, since I had to study Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea not that long ago. The repeated line works and all the figures, and those four birds… it is spooky. Thanks Michelle and Laurie for the introduction.

  3. Pascale

    Thanks Michelle for posting this, I think it would be good if Laurie had a readership in the UK. I like her blend of the everyday with the mythic, and of course the birds!

    Px

  4. Susan Richardson

    Thanks for sharing this, Michelle – I definitely want to read more!

  5. Laurie Byro

    hello all, too many to comment on, very pleased. Wish I could take a class with Pascale and get to visit Lia among others. Dale, Jo, Barbara, Julie, Susan and dear Pascale:

    I am such a cousin of Jolly Olde, I really am ill-suited to my own country. I am reading Austin all summer, I must admit that I just couldn’t READ it until I watched it first, it’s a different culture made common by language, don’t know who made that quote, but tis true. I’ve always identified with Jane Eyre, poor, obscure, plain and little–
    so I really had fun with this one. A friend poet thought this could be so much more, he objects when I have “fun” writing, another tells me
    I look at my scribbling as a form of self punishment.

    I appreciate you reaching and enjoying my poem. One day I SHALL be back in London (and Scotland where I’ve lived in a former life–as Mary Queen of Scots, don’t you know?)
    and we shall all hang out together and go dancing and have FUN, like girls who just wanna, like Cindi who knows as does Jane Eyre how to have a good time, despite it all.

    Peace
    Laurie

  6. Shirley Walkowicz

    I REALLY LOVED YOUR POEM AT THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE POETRY CENTER ON SATURDAY, LAURIE. WHILE LISTENING TO YOURS AS WELL AS OTHERS, I HAD A “THIRST” FOR MORE DETAILS FROM EACH POET. I WASN’T AWARE THAT I WAS “RUBBING ELBOWS’ WITH THE “BLUE BOOK OF ‘ELITE ESTABLISHED POETS'” UNTIL AFTER MARIA STARTED CALLING EACH POETS NAME AND INVITED THEM TO READ ONE OF THEIR POEMS.
    I LEARNED ALOT FROM THEM AS WELL. EACH ONE OF THEM HAD THEIR OWN STYLE. EACH ONE OF THEM HAD THEIR OWN “SPECIAL” WAY OF PRESENTING THEIR POEM. THEIR PITCH & MODULATION, THEIR “BODY LANGUAGE”. SOME POEMS MADE ME LAUGH, OTHERS MADE ME THINK, WHILE SOME MADE ME [almost] CRY.
    BACK IN MY “ACCIDEMICAL DAYS” [?] I WAS TAUGHT THAT EVERY 2ND LINE HAD TO RHYME WITH THE LAST WORD OF THE FIRST SENTENCE. SATURDAY I LEARNED THAT’S NOT ALWAYS TRUE. SOME POEMS CAN BE STORIES, WHETHER TRUE OR NOT. OTHERS CAN BE FANTASIES, WHILE OTHERS CAN BE ABOUT EVERYDAY LIFE [OR, THE MUNDANE].

    [I just had an idea: Why not ask “our little poetry group” to write their own poems [self created, original] and bring it to the [first] meeting of our Poetry Club when we start up again, in September. A good idea?]

    I LEARNED A LOT FROM THOSE POETS ON SATURDAY. I HOPE I HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO ATEND MORE OFTHOSE MEETINGS. THAT WAS VERY “ENRICHING” FOR/TO ME. I THOROUGHLY ENJOYED IT VERY MUCH!

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