What is the sound of no rooster crowing?

All week my neighbors have been asking what happened to the rooster. They all liked hearing his crow and notice its absence. The silence has been very loud. I found this wonderful poem by the Brazilian, João Cabral de Melo Neto, a poet I don’t know, translated by Galway Kinnell, a poet I admire greatly.



Weaving the Morning


One rooster does not weave a morning,
he will always need the other roosters,

one to pick up his shout
and toss it to another, another rooster
to pick up the shout of the rooster before him
and toss it to another, and other roosters
with many other roosters to criss-cross
the sun-threads of their rooster-shouts
so that the morning, starting from a frail cobweb,
may go on being woven, among all the roosters.

And growing larger, becoming cloth,
pitching itself a tent where they all may enter,
inter-unfurling itself for them all, in the tent
(the morning) which soars free of ties and ropes—
the morning, tent of a weave so light
that woven, it lifts itself through itself: balloon light.

João Cabral de Melo Neto
translated by Galway Kinnell

from Twentieth-Century Latin American Poetry, edited by Stephen Tapscott

(and for those of you who read Portuguese:)

Tecendo a Manhã

Um galo sòzino não tece uma manhã:
êle precisará sempre de outros galos.
De um que apanhe êsse grito que êle
e o  lance a outro; de um outro galo
que apanhe o grito que um galo antes
e o lance a outro; e de outros galos
que com muitos outros galos se cruzem
os fios de sol de seus gritos de galo,
para que a manhã, desde uma teia tênue,
se vá tecendo, entre todos os galos.


E se encorpando em tela, entre todos,
se erguendo tenda, onde entrem todos,
se entretendendo para todos, no tôldo
(a manhã) que plana livre de armação.
A manhã, toldo de um tecido tão aéreo
que, tecido, se eleva por si: luz balão.

Ok, now I promise, no more rooster posts.

4 thoughts on “What is the sound of no rooster crowing?

  1. I like the idea of weaving the morning with sound. I never met the weaver, but I too miss the morning warp and weft.

  2. When we were on vacation in Puerto Rico, all the neighbors had roosters. I can’t say it was so much like weaving, more like pounding drums!

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