Poetry Friday: Something Told the Wild Geese by Rachel Field

The weekly round-up is at A Day in the Life, Leigh Anne’s blog.

I love the Book of Nature Poetry J. Patrick Lewis edited. Sometimes for writing practice, I pick a photo in the book and write my own poem, or write one on a similar topic/theme.

Recently I discovered the poem “Something Told the Wild Geese” by Rachel Field. It’s exquisite. Then I looked online and found a lovely choral arrangement that reminded me of my many years in choir.

The poem is in the public domain.

Something Told the Wild Geese
by Rachel Field

Something told the wild geese
It was time to go,
Though the fields lay golden
Something whispered, “snow.”

Leaves were green and stirring,
Berries, luster-glossed,
But beneath warm feathers
Something cautioned, “frost.”

All the sagging orchards
Steamed with amber spice,
But each wild breast stiffened
At remembered ice.

Something told the wild geese
It was time to fly,
Summer sun was on their wings,
Winter in their cry.


We have had a few cool days (finally) and I even turned on the heater! It likely won’t last, but I’ll enjoy it while I can! Ah, life in the South!

Author: Keri

7 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Something Told the Wild Geese by Rachel Field

  1. The choral version is so pretty! Thanks for sharing this classic, Keri. (I just tried to find out when it was written and I saw that Rachel Field died young of pneumonia. Her words live on…)

  2. It is simply perfect, Keri. Here in Colorado, many geese stay, but in Pennsylvania where I just was at a Highlights retreat, I heard those geese flying over, our autumn song, right? I love that you found another kind of song, too.

  3. That was beautiful and moved me to tears, which, perhaps, needed to be released. Better done through music than circumstance.

    I, too, saw the geese in PA!

  4. Yes, indeed. The weather here in Texas can’t make up its mind as usual. I love this poem about the wild geese. I heard a few geese pass through last week. Is it time, perhaps?

  5. Oh, this poem just cries out to be sung. Thanks for sharing it with me. No heater needed here, but cooler temps are predicted this week. I always wonder how the birds know before we do that winter is coming. One of the mysteries of nature.

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