Birds for Writers…
November 15, 2010 § 11 Comments
We know that birds are terrortiorial and not all sweetness and light. They fight, they’re bitchy, they squawk (cheep) and holler (caw). But they sing and warble and trill, and they soar.
We watch them, love them and wonder what it would be like if one would eat from our hand, maybe sit momentarily on our palm and let us sense the down of its feathers and wait for the quiver of its hearbeat, ’til it flies off.
Birds have been the topic of a writers for ages.
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott (you’ve heard many rave about this one. It deserves it, from a writer’s point of view). She also has a novel called Imperfect Birds. (didn’t know that.)
The Birds (movie) by Alfred Hitchcock (nope. watching it once was enough. I don’t like seeing the birds turn even though overall, it was mob mentality. nope, once was enough )
Book of Dead Birds by Gail Brandeis (I mentioned this one more than a dozen blog entries ago) and I did start reading it but I’ll tell ya, it’s different and I had to reread the first 10 pages several times to see what was going on. Anyway, I’ll report more on it later. It’s good. Disturbing in its way, but good.
Birds of America by Lorrie Moore (short stories – excellent)
Birds of America by John James Audubon (the quintessnetial guide. Takes up serious bookshelf real estate, though.)
Bye Bye Birdie (movie) Not one darn thing to do with birds. Threw it in here for fun. It’s a 1963 musical directed by George Sidney. Fun? yeah. Interesting cast including Dick van Dyke, Janet Leigh and Ann-Margret.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. If you can think about this book/story without thinking about Gregory Peck, you’re ahead of the game. It’s also telling, that Harper Lee was friends with Truman Capote. Writers that hung out together. Who woulda guessed?
The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe. Disturbing. Not the friendliest bird in town. And then there’s that bit about the ravens at the Tower of London.
Icarus and Daedalus – myth. But who doesn’t think, at least once, about how cool it would be to actually fly?
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. 1969, coming of age story – would we now call it “memoir”? Nevetheless, an autobiography, from victim to self assured woman. Resonates.
The Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Murakami.. Haven’t read it. But Bellezza inspired me to get as far as buying it so it’s on the TBR stack and I’m grateful.
Blackbird from the Beatles’ White Album. “Blackbird singing in the dead of night…take these broken wings and learn to fly…” Of course you know the words.
The above are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of “birds” and lit/songs/screenplays/poetry.
Read or seen anything with “birds” in it lately?
May your Muse take flight with you on board.