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Bellbirds Theme

Cindy Tonkin - November 9, 2022

I believe I was maybe 7 when a textbook introduced me to Henry Kendall’s poem, the Bellbirds. Then a few years later my dad gave me a book of Kendall’s poetry and I discovered the rest of the verses.

I was enamoured of it because often in driving from Lithgow where we lived, and Sydney where my mother’s family lived we would go past Bellbird hill near Bell, and we’d wind down the windows to hear the birds. The poem has lovely language within it (softer than slumber and sweeter than singing).

Here are some of the works where I have taken the words and made work.

Find more themes from my artwork here. Other poets, including e.e. cummings have also inspired some works.

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