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Poem of the Day: ‘The Caged Skylark’

The ‘dare-gale skylark scanted in a dull cage’ serves as a figure for the human soul, trapped in the dullness of its earthly life and longing for the freedom of its true home.

A Eurasian skylark, detail of plate 15 of 'Dutch Birds,' by Nozeman and Sepp, 1770.

A Eurasian skylark, detail of plate 15 of 'Dutch Birds,' by Nozeman and Sepp, 1770. Via Wikimedia Commons

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Mr. Bottum is the author of eight books, including An Anxious Age and The Decline of the Novel. Director of the Classics Institute at Dakota State University, he has written over 800 essays, poems, reviews, and short stories in publications from the Atlantic to the Washington Post. His poetry collections include The Fall & Other Poems and The Second Spring, and he has received a 2019 Christopher Medal for his poetry in the year’s best children’s book. He lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

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