The sparrow


He’s no artist/ His taste in clothes is more/ dowdy than gaudy./ And his nest – that blackbird, writing/ pretty scrolls on the air with the gold nib of his beak,/ would call it a slum./ To stalk solitary on lawns,/ to sing solitary in midnight trees,/ to glide solitary over grey Atlantics -/ not for him: he’d rather/ a punch up in a gutter./ He carries what learning he has/ lightly – it is, in fact, based only/ on the usefulness whose result/ is survival. A proletarian bird./ No scholar./ But when winter soft-shoes in/ and these other birds -/ ballet dancers, musicians, architects -/ die in the snow/ and freeze to branches/ watch him happily flying/ on the O-levels and A-levels/ of the air.

Norman Macaig
The sparrow

Visual interpretation of Norman Macaig’s poem which in the simplest of terms defines the sparrow as being nothing noteworthy or creative, but someone who just gets on with it and gets the job done. It details the ordinary nature of the bird.

The sparrow
The sparrow
Made with

Cinema 4D
After Effects

Having read an accompanying narrative, it described where the comparison between birds and mankind is clear in this poem. It went onto say that many people are blessed with beauty, aesthetic skills and academic ability.

They are decorated with awards as a result. Some may become arrogant and aloof because of this. However, their awards are meaningless if they do not have the practical skills to survive. After all, daily survival is the essential ingredient for life before we begin decorating our existence with scrolls and songs.

For me, the sparrow is a classic case of the underdog, the working man who becomes the ‘boy done good’ through hard work and determination to succeed. The all feathered dream; and you just gotta love that!

The sparrow