Flying Crooked, by Robert Graves

I enjoyed spending time in the gardens today, and I had the opportunity to witness the wonder and curiously chaotic flight of several butterflies. Whenever I see one this poem, that I memorized nearly twenty years ago, runs through my mind. Often I will recite it aloud, and its playful rhythm makes me happy. Of all my memorized poetry, I love this one for its incredibly descriptive cadence, somehow even sounding like a butterfly’s flight. I hope you enjoy!
.white butterfly

Flying Crooked, by Robert Graves

The butterfly, a cabbage-white, 

(His honest idiocy of flight) 

Will never now, it is too late, 

Master the art of flying straight, 

Yet has – who knows so well as I? –

A just sense of how not to fly: 

He lurches here and here by guess 

And God and hope and hopelessness. 

Even the acrobatic swift 

Has not his flying-crooked gift.



young poet Robert GravesRobert von Ranke Graves, “Robert Graves” (July 1895 – December 1985) was an English poet, novelist, and scholar/translator/writer of antiquity specializing in Classical Greece and Rome. During his long life he produced more than 140 works, and earned his living from writing. Graves’s poems — together with his translations and innovative analysis and interpretations of the Greek myths, his memoir of his early life including his role in the First World War, Goodbye to All That, and his pseudo-historical study of poetic inspiration, The White Goddess — have never been out of print. (source Wikipedia)

Author: Gina Day

I enjoy gathering uplifting things for sharing, with hopes of brightening the day.

12 thoughts on “Flying Crooked, by Robert Graves”

    1. Hello Stephanie Jill, so glad you enjoyed. The font is available to anyone who upgrades. I bought the whole package (including domain) but I believe just the font and other design features are only $30/year. Go to your Dashboard and check out the Store. 🙂

  1. What a nice way to start the morning! I read it out loud to myself so I could enjoy the cadence, as you suggested. Delightful! Thank you 🙂

    1. After posting I had the thought that I wish I’d encouraged people to read it aloud to more fully enjoy the cadence! I am delighted to see that you did it. Your kind comment is a nice way to start my morning ~ thank you! 😀

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