As the newly hired secretary of your local poetry society, one of your jobs is to go through the mess that is the archives and try and get things in some semblance of order. Currently, you are trying to chronologically order the records from the society's quarterly meetings last year. To complicate your task, the poets couldn't just put a date on things- no, they had to go and encode that information in the form of a poem. Can you decipher the one below and figure out which season the meeting took place in?
There are many riddle poems, but very few poem riddles.
And another (updated):
Each stanza will lead you to a certain thing. These things must be combined in order to find the answer.
The Pet Bird
The first he heard was what it sang of; grief
that it had dared to fly, but back it fell.
Its wings were clipped- it warbled of a sky
it had no claim to, though it fled its cell.
He stooped to cup it with his tender hands
and said, “We’ll not go forth to whence you came!
The sky is dreary- here is warm and safe.
You came here worn and weary- now be tame.”
He laid it in its cage- it scratched and sang,
and every word it called was full of tears.
He frowned and said, “Your life depends on mine!
Give thanks to me- domesticate these fears!”
He left; the bird now had to face the truth
that twice now had been hung about its head:
there would be no returning to the sky.
It popped the cage and tumbled from the ledge.
Its crooked wings were clapsed and folded tight
as lonely Death embraced even one so small.
Its master sprinted in, but found it done:
The beginning and the end were in its fall.
Too late, his heart was sore, and now he saw
that soon begins the month when birds must leave.
The bell-beat sounds- its time was drawing near.
He held it to his chest, began to grieve.
His tears flowed out; he said, “I must be mad-
I think my love’s a song inside my head.
My care was but a third of what I should
have done- I thought I tried, and yet he’s dead.”
His life was torn, now, where it had been tied-
in twain entied, as creepers choke a leaf.
To autumn he went crumpled, dry, and frail,
and with coming on of winter died of grief.
Though man pretends to brains, he’s first a fool,
and fools, beloved of God, will often tend
to weep for birds, and sing their requiems,
forgetting that they sent them to their end.