‘Why do we hate the crow?’ courting controversy

‘Why do we hate the crow?’ courting controversy

My poem ‘Why do we hate the crow?’ is on ABC Radio National (all on it’s lonesome) this Saturday at 2.35pm (I am told) after the 360 documentary.

You can also listen on the ABC website here (I have put it up before so feel free to skip if already listened to it).

It appears to be courting controversy – bwhahahaha – with an irate listener saying ‘we hate that poem’ (you can read the comment here).  They have sort of missed the whole point of the poem and think I am having a dig at the crow, which could not be further from the truth. I am a great admirer of the intelligent crow. If I am having a dig at anyone it would be your yobbo on the street who would shoot a crow quicker than reversing his monaro out the driveway. The poem is about our fear of death and the motif of the crow as messenger of death.

The commenter also notes that ‘stilted prose shuffled into verses does not make poetry.’ I agree totally, that is why poets use metaphor, imagery, metre, rhythm, sound, and other devices 🙂

But I do admire the commenter for standing up for the crow!

‘Why do we hate the crow?’ – recording from ABC Radio National

‘Why do we hate the crow?’ – recording from ABC Radio National

Photo donated by At a Glance Pty Ltd (Lee Curtis and Garrie Douglas)

As promised here is the audio of my poem ‘Why do we hate the crow?’ which was recorded for the ABC Radio National ‘Birdlands’ project.

I love the way they have done this one, even better than ‘skin deep’, especially the sound of the crows in the background.

Producer Gretchen Miller said

Why do we hate the crow by Gabrielle Bryden just had to be read in a good strong Aussie accent – Drayton Morley did the readings for us here!  Produced by Gretchen Miller with sound engineering by Russell Stapleton.

Click on the link to listen to the audio:


Here is the text of the poem:

Why do we hate the crow?

We hate the crow
every bit black bird
beady ugly eyes

stupid shuffling of wings
hop out of the way of cars
that’s arrogance

eating carrion
we don’t like birds who eat dead things
or stuff out of bins
how disgusting

hate that loud, raucous call
grating our ears
like finger nails
on a chalkboard,
they take the short cut
across the river Styx
and with their message from Hades
slip into a subliminal
sniper vantage point

bloody smart-ass birds
too smart for their own good
you can’t kill them, you know
you’ll get in trouble with the law

if only it had a splash of red
somewhere on the feathers
like the stunning
red-tailed black cockatoo

yeah but, they don’t eat dead things

so it is about dead things.

On the radio this Saturday (Birdland)

On the radio this Saturday (Birdland)

This Saturday, 19th March 2011, at 2pm on ABC Radio National (360 documentaries) the Birdland project, directed by Gretchen Miller, will be broadcast.

Two of my poems Skin Deep and Why do we hate the crow? have been recorded as part of this fantastic, collaborative project (using the voices of actors and musical accompaniment).

The project began on the ABC POOL website and the callout was for ‘celebratory, thoughtful, descriptive, creative works that celebrate the human/avian relationship.’ As my regular readers would know, I love birds and just had to toss my hat in the ring. The list of finalists can be found here.

You can read more about this project on the POOL website or you can download the broadcast from the 360 documentaries website, from the 19th March 2011.

I can’t wait to listen to the broadcast (I think my poems sound much better when someone else is reading them out – haha).

Ps. I found out the birdlands project is broken up into separate components, and my two poems will be in a later broadcast – I will advise of new dates when they find out (sorry about that dudes 🙂 )