Ode to a Magpie / One for Sorrow
‘O for a beaker full of the warm South’
– John Keats, Ode to a Nightingale
Keats can keep / his numb tongued nightingale; / I’ll save my stolen silver speech / for my
pale and black / kleptomaniac. / Magpie, your bad luck beak is slick / with Satan’s serpent
blood / and was / silent, / when all the others bayed for Christ / on his wet-blooded bough. /
When Noah took to his Ark, / you alone stayed, / and strayed / to see the world drown, / to
hear the secret knowledge of its last words, / and drink down its last / best / breath; / and like
Noah, / swallowed your sorrows, and became Bacchus’s bird, / with wine-dark wings. / When
all the other blackbirds were put in a pie, / you stole the silverware, / and carved out a bad
name for yourself. / The world gives good mornings / to the one who heard its last good
nights, / who would not shelter, / or sing / for a god on his beam. / Bad luck bird – be trod
upon. / Bridge / the starry silver stream. / Link us / to the weaver of worlds / and words.
This poem was first published in Rewilding: An Ecopoetic Anthology, ed. by The Crested Tit Collective (London: Crested Tit Collective, 2020).
Daniel Hinds lives in Newcastle. He won the Poetry Society’s Timothy Corsellis Young Critics Prize 2018 and his prose poem review of Jay Bernard’s Surge was one of the winners of the Shortlist Book Review Competition 2020, held in celebration of the Dylan Thomas Prize by Swansea University. He was shortlisted for the Streetcake Experimental Writing Prize 2019 and the Terry Kelly Poetry Prize 2018. Two of his poems were highly commended in the Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts Water Poetry Competition, judged by W. N. Herbert and John Burnside. His poetry has been published or is forthcoming in The London Magazine, The New European,Wild Court, Stand, The Best New British and Irish Poets 2019-2021, Poetry Birmingham Literary Journal, Blackbox Manifold, The Honest Ulsterman, Fly on the Wall Press Magazine, Finished Creatures, Rewilding: An Ecopoetic Anthology, Newcastle University’s One Planet Anthology, Amethyst Review, Perverse, Streetcake Magazine, Riggwelter, Orbis, The Seventh Quarry, The Wilfred Owen Association Journal, Selcouth Station, Nightingale & Sparrow, Black Bough Poetry, Cardigan Press’s Byline Legacies anthology, and BFS Horizons. He has also had an essay published in Pre-Raphaelite Society Review. He was part of a panel of judges for the Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts Belonging Poetry Competition. He graduated from Newcastle University with a first class degree in English Literature, and a Distinction in his English Literature 1500-1900 MA, for which he won two prestigious scholarships, the School Bursary Award and Excellence Scholarship. He has been commissioned by New Creatives, a talent development scheme supported by Arts Council England and BBC Arts and delivered by Tyneside Cinema, to produce an audio piece based on his poetic sequence The Stone Men of Newcastle.