“The hummingbird stands for love” remains one of my favourite poems. In this Vermeer-style scene, I see a young woman at the window of a Dutch interior. She is bathed in light. In my version, she holds open a book or a letter, but gazes at the window. The opulent curtains and tasteful furnishings draw my eye. The fall of the light amuses, but as I look at the scene for a longer period of time, I notice a tiny shimmer of green. This is the hummingbird. Sometimes it is inside the room, sometimes it is outside, visible only as a streak outside one of the window panes.
“Hummingbird” is one of the twenty-five poems in my book Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys. You can read more about the title and its conception here.