Tuesday, January 21, 2014
The Rosetta Stone for Birdcalls, by Peter O'Leary
The Rosetta Stone for Birdcalls
is the Rosetta Stone for Human Suffering. Caw = territorialoutrage. Musical flutings upwards = the days of summer are alwaysdeclining. Peep = hunger. Barrage of chips = desperate hunger.Who? = the nest has been abandoned. Varied pipings =I surrender my eggs to a predator. Grates & rustynoises = the distance between us can only be managed by violence.Trill = inadequacy of desire. Low whistles = difficulties withlice, with bacteria, with fungus, etc.No such stone ever hewn would translate lightning or torrenta million years elicits. No such stone would bear theincisions of the master's awl.Such a stone would serve instead as instruction manual for buildingpyramids & museums.When the accipiter in its suicidal plummet snatches the finch,what instrument measures the strum of the vibrating airs? Who sees the God who plucks this lute?