Karl Ove Knausgaard.
Pity the Reader. Suzanne McConnell and Kurt Vonnegut. On Dogs. The Pocket Haiku.
Table of contents
Create Dangerously. Albert Camus. Gloria Steinem. The Writer Before the Page. Toni Morrison. The Center. The April 3rd Incident. Good Things Out of Nazareth. Harold Bloom. Written in History. Simon Sebag Montefiore. An Evening with W. The William H. Gass Reader. William H. I Used to Be Charming. Ecstasy and Terror. Daniel Mendelsohn.
Jerome Robbins, by Himself. Jerome Robbins. The Power of Nonviolent Resistance. What Time Is It? On the End of the World. Stefan Zweig. Daemon Voices. They, for instance, appear in the Panchatantra , a book of ancient fables 4. Several, such as the crane , heron , and pigeon , among others, are emulated in popular yoga poses 5.
Crows , considered by some Indians as ancestors, are offered feed as part of a spiritual rite known as shraddah 9.
Yet, despite countless beliefs and portrayals, Hindu art, literature, and religion often render feathered creatures from the perspectives of hedonistic indulgence and spiritual awakening. For the purposes of an overview, comparing such depictions to one or the other of the two birds perched in the tree thus seems reasonable. Birds have long been associated in Hinduism with sensuous longing and attachment.
Hood College scholar Purnima Mehta Bhatt discusses some of these aspects. Though her assessment focuses on ancient Indian stepwell sculptures, she cites examples from other art forms. Overall, accounts like these are commonly featured in Hindu literary works. Some writers even liken lovers to avian forms. The pining speaker, forced from his mistress, elegantly compares her several times to a wild goose In the wake of this passionate affair lie beautiful memories and evocative language. A precursor and influence upon both Bilhana and Kalidasa is the ancient masterpiece Ramayana. According to legend, a tragic event involving birds inspired its author.
The sage Valmiki, witnessing a curlew in distress after a hunter killed its mate, then supposedly became motivated to first compose poetry 15, Not surprisingly, birds frequently appear in his Ramayana , from major characters e. Regarding the latter, for instance, Lake Pampa is presented as an idyllic location populated with songbirds, waterfowl, and peacocks.
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However, at this point, the hero Rama can only relate to them with woe. When commenting on the creatures around him, he is overtaken with bittersweet passion. A paradise for the senses cannot overcome his deepest despair. Other dynamics of love and lust, too, are explored in Hindu literature. For instance, as noted by University of Chicago Divinity School scholar Wendy Doniger, the text encourages women to amorously gibber, mimicking the calls of parrots , doves , partridges , cuckoos, geese, and a few other birds.
She also remarks that the ancient book advises, among its many arts of seduction, learning how to train either a parrot or a mynah to speak.
In Hinduism, deities are sometimes associated with certain creatures. An owl attends Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune and wealth 20 ; while Yama, the god of the dead, dispatches a dove For Kama, whose realm consists of love, romance, and sexual desire, his animal attendant is the parrot If the parrot and other fowl in the Kamasutra are reminiscent of the sensual, fruit-eating bird in the Rig Veda and Upanishads, what of an appropriate spiritual counterpart?
Several possibilities exist in Hindu literature. The raptor, for instance, is credited with bringing the bliss-inducing soma plant to the ancient Hindu priests While the eagle is a noble example, better candidates for this honor may be the birds referred to as paramahamsa 28 or arayanna 29 —either geese or swans. Like the eagle, they have links to the gods and heaven; however, these mythical waterfowl are also renowned for something more: They are believed to embody purity and wisdom Such characteristics easily explain why hamsa and paramahamsa came to be used as laudatory titles for Hindu ascetics 32 and even for the god-avatar Krishna Overall, the paramahamsa and arayanna seem almost ideal representatives of the second bird in the tree—excepting, of course, that neither swans nor geese possess the ability to perch on limbs!
As noted earlier, interpreting the variety of avian life depicted in Hindu art and literature with this dualistic approach carnal desire vs. While stressing the dichotomy between the two birds of the Vedic parable provides an interesting starting point, we should not forget that this ancient religion has spawned numerous traditions, practices, and philosophies. From Indian culture, itself, have also come other religions. One of these was quite influential, spreading throughout the Asian continent. Paper Drumm, S Associated Press. Davis, CA: Univ. Watkins, MG.
London: Longman, Green and Co. ProQuest, The great instrument of moral good is the imagination; and poetry administers to the effect by acting upon the cause.
The Paragon Parrot: And Other Inspirational Tales of Wisdom
A Defense of Poetry. New York: W. Obviously Shelley speaks of men in A Defense of Poetry , but the sentiment he expresses could apply to women, as well as to animals and other life-forms. Traditional Birds of Love As to why poets have long included birds in love poems makes abundant sense. Sources: Hirshfield, J. Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry. HarperCollins Publishers, Neruda, P.
Schmitt, J. The Poetry of Pablo Neruda. Stavans, I, et al editors and translators.
Night and Sleep
Armstrong, EA. London: Collins, Miller, B. New York: Columbia University Press, Lutwack, L. Birds in Literature. Ancient Feats of Fowl Engineering As far as bird-styled mechanical clocks and automatons go, the cuckoo clock is a relative latecomer. As American writer Jim Harrison eloquently states in one his poems: Most birds own the ancient clock of north and south, a clock that never had hands, the god-time with which the universe began. Sources: Wolff, HW. Rambles in the Black Forest. Cooke, CW.
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