Imago lacus

The picture above was taken by a dear friend, the American poet Debra Kang Dean (please do not use it without permission). I met Debra three years before, when I went to Walden to work with his late husband Brad, a great Thoreau scholar. Once we spent hours tracking this quotation: "Some men go fishing all their lives without ever realizing it's not fish they are after." We concluded that Thoreau never wrote it, but si non è vero...

Monday, September 17, 2012

March 1858

March 18. P. M.—To Fair Haven Hill via Hubbard's Bath.
How much more habitable a few birds make the fields! At the end of winter, when the fields are bare and there is nothing to relieve the monotony of the withered vegetation, our life seems reduced to its lowest terms. But let a bluebird come and warble over them, and what a change! The note of the first bluebird in the air answers to the purling rill of melted snow beneath. It is eminently soft and soothing, and, as surely as the thermometer, indicates a higher temperature. It is the accent of the south wind, its vernacular. It is modulated by the south wind. The song sparrow is more sprightly, mingling its notes with the rustling of the brash along the watersides, but it is at the same time more terrene than the bluebird. The first woodpecker comes screaming into the empty house and throws open doors and windows wide, calling out each of them to let the neighbors know of its return. But heard further off it is very suggestive of ineffable associations which cannot be distinctly recalled,—of long-drawn summer hours,—and thus it, also, has the effect of music. I was not aware that the capacity to hear the woodpecker had slumbered within me so long. When the blackbird gets to a conqueree he seems to be dreaming of the sprays that are to be and on which he is to perch. The robin does not come singing, but utters a somewhat anxious or inquisitive peep at first. The song sparrow is immediately most at home of any that I have named. I see this afternoon as many as a dozen bluebirds on the warm side of a wood. [...]

We find that we had virtually forgotten the note of each bird, and when we hear it again it is remembered like a dream, reminding us of a previous state of existence. How happens it that the associations it awakens are always pleasing, never saddening; reminiscences of our sanest hours? The voice of nature is always encouraging.

March 20. [...]
We find that we had virtually forgotten the note of each bird, and when we hear it again it is remembered like a dream, reminding us of a previous state of existence. How happens it that the associations it awakens are always pleasing, never saddening; reminiscences of our sanest hours? The voice of nature is always encouraging.

March 25. [...]
You might frequently say of a poet away from home that he was as mute as a bird of passage, uttering a mere chip from time to time, but follow him to his true habitat, and you shall not know him, he will sing so melodiously.

H. D. Thoreau
Journal

2 comments:

  1. Musical inspiration of birds through a poetical look:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VxZZzxEzXA&feature=relmfu

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  2. Wonderful. Mila esker, Zigor. "Found poetry" adibide zoragarria hau aipatuko dut hurrengo sarreran, bideoa merezi du eta. Besarkada.

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