Benjamin Zephaniah’s albatross poem

From BirdLife:

Saving the Albatross with poetry

Acclaimed poet, novelist and playwright Benjamin Zephaniah has written a poem in support of BirdLife’s Save the Albatross campaign.

The poem goes as follows:

For some I am a symbol of life,
A link to a Jurassic past,
And other good things.
So why are some killing me?
For some I am the subject of their song,
A flight of their fancy,
Poetry in their poetry,
And when they talk memory talk,
And when they think of being free
They think of being me.
So why are some killing me?
And you
So what am I to you?
Can you save me?
Can you rise up and speak for me?
Give me
Poems that can save me
Songs for my liberation
Power to my wings.
Save me
And I will save you
For the Albatross
And the Glads Club

Midway albatross photos: here.

6 thoughts on “Benjamin Zephaniah’s albatross poem

  1. Monday, August 31, 2009

    Agency seeking data on albatross

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking additional information on the black-footed albatross as the agency considers the bird for listing as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

    The total breeding population of the black-footed albatross (Phoebastria nigripes) numbers roughly 61,000 pairs, with 97 percent of the population nesting in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. Threats to the species include deaths from longline fishing and mercury and organochlorine contaminants such as PCBs and DDTs. These substances, used in industry and agriculture, pose a toxicological risk and interfere with reproduction, according to the Fish and Wildlife Service.

    Rising sea levels and the loss of low-lying islands because of climate change is another threat, the agency said.

    Publication of a species status assessment by the U.S. Geological Survey led to the reopening of the comment period to ensure a comprehensive review, the service said. Information received during the first comment period will be incorporated into the final report and need not be resubmitted.

    The black-footed albatross can live as long as 40 to 50 years and has a wingspan of up to 7 feet. The birds arrive at their Hawai’i nesting colonies in October, producing a single egg, which hatches between January and February. Chicks are cared for by both parents and fledge by late July.

    A surface feeder and scavenger, the primary natural prey of the black-footed albatross is thought to be flying-fish eggs and squid.

    The status assessment can be downloaded from the USGS Web site at

    Comments must be submitted by Sept. 25 via the Internet to; or mailed to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R1-ES-2007-0004; Division of Policy and Directives Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 222, Arlington, VA 22203.


  2. Pingback: Albatrosses breeding in Antarctic | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Poet Benjamin Zephaniah interviewed | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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  5. Pingback: Benjamin Zephaniah, other poetry in England | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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