Archive for July, 2010

In addition to my work as a writer and a poet, I have the honor of serving mothers in my role as a childbirth doula, counselor, and educator. Yesterday, I was visiting a mom in the hospital along with a friend of hers. The friend was a singer! To entertain us, she sang a song called “I Know Why and So Do You,” which was originally composed for the film “Sun Valley Serenade” (1941). I loved the lyrics, which are so poetic!

“I Know Why and So Do You”

Why do robins sing in December
Long before the Springtime is due
And even though it’s snowing, violets are growing
I know why and so do you

Why do breezes sigh ev’ry evening
Whispering your name as they do
And why have I the feeling stars are on my ceiling
I know why and so do you

When you smile at me
I hear gypsy violins
When you dance with me
I’m in heaven when the music begins

I can see the sun when it’s raining
Hiding ev’ry cloud from my view
And why do I see rainbows when you’re in my arms
I know why and so do you

Harry Warren & Mack Gordon
From the film “Sun Valley Serenade” (1941)

As a bird-watcher celebrating the world of wild birds with a new book of sonnets, THE BIRD-WATCHER’S DIARY ENTRIES, I love the opening reference to robins in this song! I also love the music for it. The most popular rendition of the song seems to be Glenn Miller’s with orchestral accompaniment, but it has been recorded by other men and women, too, and I loved hearing the song sung a capella by a woman yesterday! Anyhow, here’s a version by a man with guitar accompaniment–very peaceful and reassuring:

“I Know Why and So Do You.”


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My new collection of sonnets about the wondrous life of wild birds is now in print! To explore my new interactive, multimedia website celebrating this book–to listen to recordings of the poems, learn more about birding, connect to other resources on birding and poetry about birds–please visit:


To purchase this new book and begin enjoying poetry about birds for yourself, either in e-book or hardcopy format, click: THE BIRD-WATCHER’S DIARY ENTRIES.


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I was listening to Gregorian chants
in a speeding car
on a highway in France.
The trees rushed past. Monks’ voices
sang praises to an unseen god
(at dawn in a chapel trembling with cold).
Domine, exaudi orationem meum,
male voices pleaded calmly
as if salvation were just growing in the garden.
Where was I going? Where was the sun hiding?
My life lay tattered
on both sides of the road, brittle as a paper map.
With the sweet monks
I made my way toward the clouds, deep blue,
heavy, dense,
toward the future, the abyss,
gulping hard tears of hail.
Far from dawn. Far from home.
In place of walls — sheet metal.
Instead of a vigil — a flight.
Travel instead of remembrance.
A quick poem instead of a hymn.
A small, tired star raced
up ahead
and the highway’s asphalt shone,
showing where the earth was,
where the horizon’s razor lay in wait,
and the black spider of evening
and night, widow of so many dreams.

Adam Zagajewski
(translated by Clare Cavanagh)
from Without End: New and Selected Poems (2002)

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