The Darkling Redwing


Judith Woodfield


Visual art

"His happy good-night air Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew And I was unaware"

I met my brother this year for the first time in two years due to the pandemic. We went bird watching on a winter's day. We heard a Redwing high up in the trees. The picture shows the Redwing, full of hope at the top of the tree against the bright blue sky, not a cloud on the horizon....waiting amongst the dormant buds. It reminded me of Thomas Hardy's poem "The Darkling Thrush" when in verse 3 there is sudden hope amongst the bleak mid winter.

"At once a voice arose among

The black twigs overhead

In a full-hearted evensong

Of joy unlimited; an aged thrush, frail ,gant and small,

In blast -beruffled plume,

Had chosen thus to fling his soul

Upon the growing gloom

So, little cause for carolings

Of such ecstatic sound

Was written on terrestial things

Afar or nigh around

That I could think there trembled through

His happy good-night air

Some blessed

Hope, whereof he knew

And I was unaware"

I was lucky enough to take part in Coventry's Take 5 artists project in the summer of 2021. This was designed to support artists who had never had any training at all . I had not drawn or painted much since school days and the project has given me a new interest and purpose.I was lucky enough to be inspired by John Yeadons one of Coventry's great artists. This has helped me so much as I had to give up my job as a head teacher early due to ill health in 2019 and art has given me a new sense of purpose and hope.

Previous item
Harvest Hope