Published on Academy of American Poets (

Advice to a Blue-Bird

Who can make a delicate adventure
Of walking on the ground?
Who can make grass-blades
Arcades for pertly careless straying?
You alone, who skim against these leaves,
Turning all desire into light whips
Moulded by your deep blue wing-tips,
You who shrill your unconcern
Into the sternly antique sky.
You to whom all things
Hold an equal kiss of touch.

Mincing, wanton blue-bird,
Grimace at the hoofs of passing men.
You alone can lose yourself
Within a sky, and rob it of its blue!


This poem is in the public domain.

About this Poem

“Advice to a Blue-Bird” was published in Advice: A Book of Poems (Knopf, 1920).


Maxwell Bodenheim

Maxwell Bodenheim was a poet and novelist active in the early twentieth-century literary scenes of Chicago, Illinois and New York’s Greenwich Village. He wrote many books, including Minna and Myself (Pagan Publishing Company, 1918); Advice (Alfred A. Knopf, 1920,; Introducing Irony (Boni and Liveright, 1922); and the novel Blackguard (Covici-McGee Publishers, 1923). He died on February 6, 1954.

Date Published: 2015-11-07

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