Warm nest
Downy feathers, soft moss
The owl’s old bones shake as
Axe seeks heartwood and the world falls from
Atlas’s shoulders

Owl had
lived here for years,
was planning one last autumn
in this familiar place, before the long dark
took her

But now,
she is falling, and
like Icarus, her wings fail her
She will never again see snow, endlessly reflecting
Moon, heaven

The man
was looking towards winter
working for a roaring fire, always
been told that his diligence and hard work
were virtues

But when
he regards lifeless owl
he feels something cold as sin
He picks her up, petting her soft feathers
And whispers

“I didn’t mean no harm”

Author’s note: This piece is inspired by the poem “To a Mouse” by Robert Burns and the novella “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck

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February 13, 2022 11:48 pm

Dear Ella

I am impressed by your post “To an Owl” Your connections to Greek mythology were fantastic, and they helped you convey the owl’s dilemma perfectly. Great way of explaining what the owl is experiencing.

One sentence that you wrote that stands out for me is “ancient bones,” “long dark,” and “falling.” The death of the owl was represented in those words as less straightforward but more powerful.

Thanks for your writing I look forward to reading more !


December 11, 2021 9:58 pm

The way that the owl’s movements are described is very creative. The seeming mistake the hunter made shooting it. The beauty of an owl.

December 11, 2021 5:59 am

Hey Ella.  I loved your references to Greek mythology – it did a great job of helping describe the situation that the owl was experiencing.  My favorite part was the point-of-view though – it takes the reader on a perspective that they  probably wouldn’t have considered before. It reminds me of an interview with Margaret Atwood where she wanted to start the story in the belly of the wolf instead of with Red Riding Hood. Thanks for your post!

December 10, 2021 7:42 pm

I liked how you used the same style of syntax throughout your poem. The visual imagery paints a vivid picture of the owl traversing the landscape. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your poem and hope to read more like this in the future.

December 10, 2021 6:15 pm

This is a lovely poem. Your word choice I think is great, “old bones”, “long dark”, and “falling” all give a sorrowful tone to your poem. Those words depicted the death of the owl as less direct but more expressive. I like the connection to Icarus from Greek mythology.

December 10, 2021 5:59 pm

I love the diction and tone of this poem. Your vocabulary usage at the beginning of the poem was very gentle and soothing and then transitioned into a more ominous tone. The resolution to the story was also very intriguing as well. This is very impressive use of imagery and the tone fluctuations establish a very complex poem. Very well done. 🙂

December 10, 2021 5:58 pm

I really liked your poem. Your imagery was really good. The story starts with a lighter tone but quickly spins into chaos which would probably be pretty accurate if one’s house was destroyed while you were still in it. I like the Icarus connection and feel the sorrow at the end.

December 10, 2021 5:52 pm

I really liked this poem. The imagery and the figurative language really made it a great poem. I liked the line “like Icarus, her wings fail her.” It really brings to mind another context to the owl that other people might not have thought about originally. It was a cool connection to another text.

December 10, 2021 5:49 pm

I love the imagery in this poem. I am really able to picture the scene that you are painting with your words.

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