Words on the wing

How poets write about birds

bright_wings_2009

Image and info at http://cup.columbia.edu/book/bright-wings/9780231150842

Why poets write about birds

‘What is that draws poets to birds? And why have so many turned to them at critical points in their own writing? The collective nouns we all remember from childhood speak of language’s innate fascination with all things avian: a murder of crows, a murmuration of starlings, a parliament of fowls. And it’s no coincidence we afford them the most poetic collective nouns: right from the birth of literature birds have been present…’

Read Adam O’Riordan’s article at http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2009/apr/28/poets-birds-poetry

Portrait_of_Keats,_listening_to_a_nightingale_on_Hampstead_Heath

Portrait of Keats listening to the nightingale by Joseph Severn, c.1845, image at wikipedia.org

A murmuration of starlings