Two Blue Herons #PoetryFriday

Happy Poetry Friday, all! Robyn Hood Black is hosting this week’s gathering on her blog, Life on the Deckle Edge.  Won’t you join us there? Robyn is sharing some lovely Scottish memories as well as a few bird-related treats. My offerings this week share an avian connection — two blue herons. 

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Blue Heron #1 — Here in the Boston area — Cambridge, to be exact — we are blessed with a vibrant early music scene. One particular resident vocal ensemble, Blue Heron, has been getting loads of well-deserved attention lately. This is in part because in 2018 their CD, Music from the Peterhouse Partbooks Vol. 5, won a Gramophone Classical Music Award for Early Music, the British equivalent to a Grammy! (Click here to have a listen.) It is now part of a boxed set, The Lost Music of Canterbury.

I have been mesmerized by polyphonic Renaissance choral music since I was a child, and had the good fortune to be selected to sing in several small groups dedicated to this style beginning in Middle School and straight through until after I had graduated from college. To this day, listening to this music still sends chills down my spine. My husband and I wait eagerly for the next concert in Blue Heron’s subscription series the minute one performance ends. (Note: For those of you in the NYC area, they perform there quite often!)

Blue Heron (1)

And why did they choose Blue Heron for their name? This from their website: “Someone once mentioned to us a medieval legend which had it that the heron was the only bird that sang in parts, but we have been unable to substantiate the tale.” Fact or fiction? Who knows, but it makes for a terrific tale. And it leads me to…

Blue Heron #2 — My companion Great Blue Heron was found on the shores of Ithaca’s Sapsucker Pond on the campus of Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology. I had the great privilege to spend a week there last summer, studying with other science educators. The Great Blue Heron is a favorite bird of mine. This one in particular, who made an almost daily appearance, inspired several haiku which I’ve dusted off to share today as a side dish to the main course. 

heron poetry

P.S. If you live near Providence, Seattle, or Vancouver, Blue Heron (the singers, that is) is headed your way! 

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Thanks for wondering and wandering a bit with me today. I hope you’ll join us on this Poetry Friday by posting a bit of poetry — your’s or someone else’s — and leaving a comment here or there. 

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25 thoughts on “Two Blue Herons #PoetryFriday

  1. I am taking a mind break in my classroom playing this amazing music. Wow! Your little poem describes it with the multi-layering of words. The Great Blue Heron is a common sight on my bayou and at my parents’ home in MS. Such a majestic bird, but the sounds are not beautiful at all. Much squawking!

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  2. I love the feathery wander & wonder with your Great B.H. haikus.

    And on a personal note, this is an enticing Blue Heron group musical discovery – thank you, Christie. I want to look into their schedule when when we are in Cambridge this May to visit our daughter (Sciarappa Street . . . )

    Appreciations to you!

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  3. Oh, I love both blue herons in your post, Christie!! I love choral music too, but unlike you, can’t sing — how wonderful that you participated in several groups. Lovely blue heron poems too — especially the lily pad plates :)! I’ve only seen a Great Blue Heron in person once, at a wildlife sanctuary. Very thrilling; I was surprised at its size.

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  4. Christie, Blue Heron music is soothing with a spiritual sense to it. Your poem uses the word mellifluous, one that flows from the tongue denoting exactly what the music affords the listener. Your blue heron poem #2 is wonderful and so imaginative. Yes, those lily pads do look like plates. You served up a delicious grouping of heron haiku. The heron you captured with your camera stands as if he guarding his treasured water home.

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  5. Love ALL these layers, Christie. Thank you for the music link. I get to see blue herons regularly – they always inspire awe. Love your word, “mellifluous” – and I am nerdy enough to sometimes play Sting’s “Songs from the Labyrinth” in my studio while working! ;0)

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  6. Two blue herons is equal to more than double the pleasure! I loved listening to the Blue Herons make beautiful music and enjoyed learning a bit more about you–how apt that you are a songbird! I forwarded the link to my daughter who sings choral music and opera at college. I know she’ll love it, too. Maybe the two of us will make a road trip down to listen to Blue Heron sometime…As you may know, I’m also fascinated by all varieties of herons, so I loved your picture and poem. Great post!

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  7. I’m in love with “mellifluous” and the music I’m listening too. I’ve always wondered where movie makers find this kind of music for scenes…I like it so much. Just gorgeous. Thanks for introducing me to Blue Heron. I am definitely a new fan. And, singing in a group that makes that music must feel fantastic!

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  8. Lovely to read of all the connections, the music, your own “Blue Heron group”, and your poetry from that week with the pond. I remember your posting about it before, seems like a favorite memory. I grew up being told that the sighting of a great blue meant good fortune coming, so they are special to me, too, a grandfather tale.

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  9. Thank you for introducing us to Blue Heron! Listening to their mellifluous voices was a lovely was to begin my day. Your words capture the beauty and mystery of this music. Like you, I love herons and appreciate their beauty and mystery every time I see one.

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  10. Thanks for this calming and meditative post Christie, I LOVE your poems and the “Blue Heron” music. My son is a classical singer and I’ve always loved hearing him sing within choral groups–I sent the music along to him too. I’ve also painted blue herons. Thanks too for the new word, “mellifluous” it’s lovely and flows like music, I’m going to use it in a poem.

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