Tuesday Poem: Superior Corvid

One metre long from beak to tail-tip
more black than black and curious,
quick to mimic, clever, a problem-
solver, shape-shifter, solitary
but coupling for life. (They often
live for forty years.) Gate-keeper,
talisman, prognosticator, doom-
merchant. At a distance sometimes
mistaken for the common crow.

Kathleen Jones

This is one small raven poem from my growing 'Haida Gwaii' collection which is going to be called 'Sea, Tree and Bird' and which seems to be becoming more of a meditation on how we live with the environment, though it didn't start out that way.

The beautiful Raven photo was taken by Gavan Watson and is licensed under the Creative Commons agreement.


  1. There is a wonderful book called Mind of the Raven by Bernd Heinrich that investigates the intelligence of these birds, which is well worth a read. I appreciate your poem that gives them due respect, Kathleen.

  2. I was immediately drawn to "prognosticator." Beautiful word.

  3. Do you know the book "Corvus" by Esther Woolfson? I think you would enjoy it.

  4. I can't wait to see the collection, and nice choice of bird, so very evocative. I've always wanted to see one.

  5. Mm, 'prognosticator' struck me, too - can't wait to see more of the developing collection, Kathleen.

  6. "more black than black and curious" - yes!

    I agree -- corvids are fascinating. :)

  7. Thanks for all your comments - I'm so glad you liked the poem, because I didn't know whether it would stand up at all out of the sequence! Thanks too for all the book recommendations, which I will follow up. Interested in all things Raven at the moment. Apparently the Norse god Odin had two on his shoulders, called Truth and Memory - now that's a prompt for a poem! On a lighter note, I always loved a children's book called Arabel's Raven, about a little girl who had a pet raven who got up to all kinds of mischief.


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