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Swan Song Analysis

Author: poem of Gerald Stern Type: poem Views: 16

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A bunch of old snakeheads down by the pond

carrying on the swan tradition -- hissing

inside their white bodies, raising and lowering their heads

like ostriches, regretting only the sad ritual

that forced them to waddle back into the water

after their life under the rocks, wishing they could lie again

            in the sun

and dream of spreading their terrifying wings;

wishing, this time, they could sail through the sky like


their tails rigid, their white manes fluttering,

their mouths open, their sharp teeth flashing,

drops of mercy pouring from their eyes,

bolts of wisdom from their foreheads.


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