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What is it about robins that makes them so easy to love? Is it the jaunty red breast? Or the fact that they have been known to build their nests in kettles, boots, coat pockets and even under car bonnets – places that seem to suggest a wish to be close to our human world?


Perhaps it’s because they appear to want to keep us company by perching close by while we’re gardening or flitting alongside us when we’re out on a walk.


Hamish Whyte’s delightful selection explores the countless ways in which these endearing and cheerful birds brighten our lives:


“I’m man’s inedible
Permanent bird.
I dine in his garden,
My spoon is his spade.”

from ‘Robin’s Round’ by U.A. Fanthorpe


These are poems that will charm and delight throughout the year – just like the robin’s beautiful song, which can be heard even in the darkest days of winter.


Hamish Whyte is a Scottish poet who has published pamphlets and full collections, as well as editing several anthologies. He also runs Mariscat Press.


Poems by Fleur Adcock, John Clare, Emily Dickinson, U.A. Fanthorpe, John Freeman, Stanley Kunitz, Norman MacCaig, Christina Rossetti, Peter Walton and Hamish Whyte.

Ten Poems About Robins

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