Print: Language of the Birds, poem by Erin Robinsong, from Wet Dreams, Brick Books, 2022.
The poem itself was written over many dawns in the spring of 2021, when I would get up just before it got light and go outside to listen to the dawn chorus in the alley behind my apartment in Montreal. This was inspired by talks I had with Cosmo about his listening practice of 'casting his ears out', and with legendary soundscape ecologist Bernie Krause, who I also interviewed at this time. So I was listening intently to them, at the peak of mating season (April-May in Montreal), at their peak time of day - dawn - and writing at the same time, and this is the poem that emerged from that field of listening.
I sent this poem to Cosmo, which he then sped up 16x, which made it sound like bird speech, and he played this sped-up version to the dawn chorus near his house in England, this May. This was part of a radio doc he made for BBC radio 4 on Between the Ears, called 'Jamming with Birds'. - Erin Robinsong.