CUCKOO

By Ted Hughes

Other Writers

TED HUGHES

Main Poetry Index

The cuckoo's the crookedest, wickedest bird,

His song has two notes but only one word.

 

He says to the linnet:  Your eggs look so ill!

Now I am the doctor, and here is my pill."

 

Within that pill, the cuckoo-child

Crouches hidden, wicked and wild.

 

He bursts his shell, and with weightlifter's legs

He flings from the nest the linnet's eggs.

 

Then bawls to the linnet:  "Look at me, Mam!

How quickly I've grown, and how hungry I am!"

 

She thinks he is hers, she is silly with joy.

She wears herself bare for the horrible boy.

 

Till one day he burps with a pitiless laugh,

"I've had enough of this awful caf.

 

And away he whirls, to Cuckooland,

And leaves her to weep with a worm in her hand.

Picture of Cuckoo The Cuckoo The Cunning Cuckoo