“As birds have flown away from my dreams I do not know how to name fear, death and love” — ornithological motifs in Halina Poświatowska’s poetry
In Halina Poświatowska’s poetry symbolic ornithology is used to present the condition of an individual facing inevitable death. There are several symbolic images functioning as versions of the bird motif in her poems: the bird as the heart, the bird as poetic inspiration, the bird as the woman. “Bird of the heart”: an analogy of a sick heart; an irregular heartbeat brings to mind associations with “soaring wings of the dove” or “fluttering bird.”
The bird as the woman — the poet uses the erotic semantics of the bird, making it a prefiguration of unhappy lovers, a symbol of parting and physical separation.
The bird as poetic inspiration: “infuse into me a bird with a silvery voice of tenderness” or the metaphor of “empty nest of the heart” are symbolic images of unfulfilled poet and poetry, which has to be annihilated by death.