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Thursday, March 21, 2019

A Reminder from Pigeons + Emily Dickinson (On this World Poetry Day 2019)


It's World Poetry Day and a poem that I'm thinking of is one by the poet Emily Dickinson:

 “Hope is the thing with feathers, That perches in the soul, And sings the tune--Without the words, And never stops at all, And sweetest in the gale is heard; And sore must be the storm, That could abash the little bird That kept so many warm. I've heard it in the chillest land, And on the strangest sea; Yet, never, in extremity, It asked a crumb of me.”

Yesterday I read a mediation by Dr. James Campbell ("In Praise of Pigeons") on Dickinson's poem and part of it stated: "When I imagine that 'little bird' of which Dickinson wrote, I automatically think of the starlings and the sparrows of my Indiana childhood.  I might even imagine the colorful and aggressive blue jays or cardinals that I still enjoy watching.  But when I think of hope and birds and bird songs, I never ever think of a pigeon...."

The meditation goes on to talk about the orator's experience with pigeons and he adds, "But those pigeons were persistent, muscular, determined....They never let me forget that they were there..." 

And he continues his thought re Dickinson's poem repeating the line, “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul, and sings the tune--without the words, and never stops at all…. But it’s not a delicate little bird, easily frightened away.  Hope is a New York City pigeon – persistent, determined, muscular, cooing at us even when we do not want to hear her song, reminding us that where we are today is not where we shall end.  The exiles will return.  There will be justice and equity for the poor of the earth..."

It's beautiful meditation in my humble opinion. I'm grateful to have come across it. I will be speaking with Dr. Campbell re his thoughts and his use of pigeons to illustrate his point later this morning.

My musings re pigeons are not as profound as Dr. Campbell's (understatement) but I have published posts here on Blogger about them and they are featured in my book series, Words In Our Beak.

Another one of Dickinson's bird poems ("Part Two: Nature XIV") re the American Robin...


....is included in a recent blog post.

And her poem re the Baltimore oriole...


... titled, To Hear An Oriole Sing, is one I referenced in my presentation this fast fall at  NYSEC, (New York Society for Ethical Culture).

Like Pigeons, American robins and Emily, a Baltimore oriole are included within my three volume book series, Words In Our Beak.
--------------------

Volume One: ISBN: 9780996378529
Book Seller Info: http://bit.ly/2AFZDCz
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2zxVujM
Barnes & Noble On-Line: http://bit.ly/2AAnB26
book culture On Columbus (a bookstore on the UWS in NYC): http://bit.ly/2FsC1Uf

Volume Two: ISBN: 9780996378536
Book Seller Info: http://bit.ly/2q75g8e
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2DY0mz0
Barnes & Noble On-Line: http://bit.ly/2G65m6H


Volume Three: ISBN: 978099637853
Book Seller Info: http://bit.ly/2IzH2iu
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2IYkmpA
Barnes & Noble On-Line: http://bit.ly/2vedQot

EACH OF THESE BOOKS CAN BE ORDERED FROM ANY PLACE SELLING BOOKS BY GIVING THEM THE TITLE, OR ISBN, OR MY NAME, PATRICIA YOUNGQUIST.

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