by nahc
Last updated 10 years ago

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How To Eat a Poemby Eve Merriam Don't be polite.Bite in.Pick it up with your fingers and lick the juice thatmay run down your chin.It is ready and ripe now, whenever you are.You do not need a knife or fork or spoonor plate or napkin or tablecloth.For there is no coreor stemor rindor pitor seedor skinto throw away.

TO PAINT THE PORTRAIT OF A BIRDTo First paint a cagewith an open doorthen paintsomething prettysomething simplesomething beautifulsomething usefulfor the birdthen place the canvas against a treein a gardenin a woodor in a foresthide behind the treewithout speakingwithout moving...Sometimes the bird comes quicklybut he can just as well spend long yearsbefore decidingDon't get discouragedwaitwait years if necessarythe swiftness or slowness of the comingof the bird having no rapportwith the success of the pictureWhen the bird comesif he comesobserve the most profound silencewait till the bird enters the cageand when he has enteredgently close the door with a brushthenpaint out all the bars one by onetaking care not to touch any of the feathers of the birdThen paint the portrait of the treechoosing the most beautiful of its branchesfor the birdpaint also the green foliage and the wind's freshnessthe dust of the sunand the noise of insects in the summer heatand then wait for the bird to decide to singIf the bird doesn't singit's a bad signa sign that the painting is badbut if he sings it's a good signa sign that you can signso then so gently you pull outone of the feathers of the birdand you write yours name in a corner of the picture - Jacques Prevert (translated by Lawrence Ferlinghetti)



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