more than many sparrows


Dorothy sparrow poem

At first I posted this on its own but then realised the words were rubbish and the only truly identifiable things were the cut-out sparrows (which you could have worked out from the title anyway). 

So, a narrative. Si on an interview, which lasts for nearly 2 hrs. I’m supposed to be studying. So instead I talk on the phone to Sally and Singe and attempt to cut out the sparrow in Photoshop while I’m talking to them. I am totally shit at Photoshop. I took a night class earlier this year but then forgot to do my homework. And then I forgot what to do. Sometimes I try and get by using the eraser tool, which is a total cop out, but I couldn’t even master that tonight.

Then I do some work work, and then it comes to me. I will print the sparrow, and the wallpaper, and the Dorothy Sparrow poem I wrote last night in a strange surge before bed. And I will cobble them all together with scissors and glue. I have long been a fan of scissors and glue. They are marvellous, and not just the playthings of sloppy preschoolers. (Arts and crafts has a bit of a stigma attached to it, and for that reason I prefer makeshift art).

I like the concentration and the rough edges. The mess and the incidental, awkward late-night serendipity. The sheer procrastination and total immersion in the task at hand. I don’t think serendipity is quite the word. But it’s like making a found poem out of predetermined elements. You might call that cheating, but I just call it something I prepared earlier.

Like buying supermarket burritos tonight in place of the homemade French crepes the recipe called for… (Well, it’s a week night. I call it enterprising. Plus we have a busted oven (see 14 Sept). If I were being cocky I might even call it the No. 8 Wire mentality raring its ingenious head, but that’s a stretch.)

This belongs to Dorothy.

For ease of reading, it goes like this:


more than many sparrows


One time someone said to her

something like:

Each hair on your head is worth more

than many sparrows.


She loved the person at the time

or it was something akin to love,

or burning.


But she never knew what it meant

or how the conclusion had been drawn.


He was Confucius-like in wisdom

& the love was monumental,

solemn as a bird bath.

It did not concern itself with petty things.


It outlasted not much more than a swallow’s summer

or a swan’s song.


Sometimes, now, occasional sparrows

evoke in her

a sort of sadness (occasionally).


Who is she to suppose superiority to sparrows?

Who is she to still be banking on the old words of even older lovers

as if they are breadcrusts?


2 Responses to “more than many sparrows”

  1. 1 Jill

    THat is a lovely poem Katy and also the piece with it. I love being able to access your writing like this…thank you xx

  2. Very nice. I agree, scissors and glue are the unsung heroes of the art and craft or makeshift art movement.

    Great poem. Thank you for sharing

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