I am a free bird...

Poem written by Saad El-Asha on Wednesday 17, June 2020

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Overall Rating: 92%

This writing has been rated by 2 members, resulting in a rating of 92% overall. Below is a breakdown of these results:

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I am a free bird, ugly enough to not be paraded in cages, beautiful enough to be shot down and consumed. I assume the air for it needs me whilst I need only my wings whose feathers were once too weak to flutter, showing me how tricky roots can be.

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    Tiptree wrote a fantastic novelette called 'The Women Men Don't See' which captures much the same as your poem. Like spies there are sometimes benefits to being nondescript, and appreciating yourself without the expectations of others is certainly one of them.
    I had a couple questions. It's highly likely I just misunderstood. But if there is a chance they may be useful, here they are.
    Do you really mean 'beautiful enough to be shot down and consumed'? I'm not sure how to understand that line. I know some animals are hunted for the beauty of their pelts or plumage. But the 'and consumed' threw me off. And the 'beautiful enough' seemed an inexplicable juxtaposition with the 'ugly enough'. I don't get the metaphor. If it was the negative, then I would understand...ugly enough to not be a candidate to capture but beautiful enough to discourage attacks.
    Is 'roots' the word you want? And 'tricky'? I tried to think it through and this is all I could work out. In the metaphor of coming to terms with yourself as a bird whose feathers mature, but not for flight...i.e. the air would be empty and lacking without birds flying, so the air needs them. But birds could have feathers and still have no need of flying. No need of the air. It would be enough for the birds to just be satisfied with their feathers. So such birds would be 'rooted', but not actually restricted...hence 'tricky' roots.
    I bet I've missed it by a mile. But I liked it anyway. Thanks for writing it.
    Dickensonfan, thank you for giving much thought to one of my games.
    I think I was referring to actual free birds being shot down for dinner.
    The root metaphor is originally intended to convey staying still. It is tricky; sometimes you think you should "settle down" but it all depends on the nature of your "wings", whether you're a "free bird" or, to borrow an old expression, "square".
    Excellent. A marvelous bit of writing.