Poetry Friday: Valerie Worth’s “Peacock”


Earlier this week I came across this video of a peacock rattling his feathers.

Completely by coincidence, I had this book on my desk:


Valerie Worth was a master at zeroing in on the essence of an animal or object, then describing it in the most original, yet obvious way. Here is her take on one of nature’s most extravagant birds.


He fans
Out that
Famous halo,

Turns it
About for
All to see,

Folds it
Down and
Saunters away,

Trailing his
Heavy burden
Of beauty.

His freckled
brown wife

Rambles around
Him, plain
And free.)

To learn more about Valerie Worth, visit these links:

After you’ve enjoyed Sylvia’s post about Valerie Worth, be sure to head over here to the Poetry Friday Roundup.

11 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Valerie Worth’s “Peacock”

  1. Irene Latham mentioned Valerie Worth as a mentor to her when we Skyped with her. Thanks for this poem, spot on with such sparsity. And for the links to others. This is a poet I need to get to know.


  2. Valerie Worth just makes things simple and true, doesn’t she? I love that “plain and free”. An aunt had several peacocks and peahens on her farm, making good watchdogs. And yes, those peahens do just wander around, pecking for bites.


  3. Thanks for sharing this poem. This post reminds me of the Canadian artist Emily Carr and her love of animals and a peacock who took a special shine to her. Her collection of short stories The Heart of a Peacock contains that story.


  4. Thanks so much for joining our Poetry Friday gathering and for featuring the work of the wonderful Valerie Worth– and MY piece about her, too. Very kind! I guess it’s obvious I’m a huge fan of Worth’s writing and I’m glad I share that interest with you too!


  5. I was just sharing some Valerie Worth poems with my husband yesterday! Her insights so often leave me with my mouth hanging open. Wishing you a beautiful Mother’s Day, Catherine… or “plain and free,” however you like it.


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