24 August 2011

ghosts of gone birds...



You may know that delightful Thomas Hood poem that ends,

No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member--
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds,
November!


Fair enough, but I like November, and if it were November and I found myself fortunate enough to be in London, I would immediately make a point of visiting the Ghosts of Gone Birds exhibit sponsored by Birdlife International, a coalition of conservation organizations whose aim is to promote the conservation of birds and their habitats.  The multimedia art exhibit focuses on the artistic resurrection of extinct bird species through the collaborative efforts of more than 80 artists.  The project's aim is to raise awareness for BirdLife International's Preventing Extinctions Programme.   Birdlife's current statistics show an alarming increase in bird extinction: over the last 30 years, 21 species have disappeared and 190 have been classified as critically endangered.

The London exhibit will be on view the 2nd through the 23rd of November.  For those who can't get to London - take heart; the event's organizers have hopes for an international tour.

You can read the Guardian article about the exhibit here.

As for that joyfully affirming poem...


November

by Thomas Hood
(1799 - 1845)

No sun--no moon!
No morn--no noon!
No dawn--no dusk--no proper time of day--
No sky--no earthly view--
No distance looking blue--

No road--no street--
No "t'other side the way"--
No end to any Row--
No indications where the Crescents go--

No top to any steeple--
No recognitions of familiar people--
No courtesies for showing 'em--
No knowing 'em!

No mail--no post--
No news from any foreign coast--
No park--no ring--no afternoon gentility--
No company--no nobility--

No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member--
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds,
November!

1 comment:

Moccasin Molly said...

I own a large acreage on a small island in Coastal B.C., no industry, virtually no pollution. There is an eery silence, virtually total absence of birdsong morning & evening that I have never experienced before. My friends insist that birds think it is fall and havde all left. Never before has this happened for weeks on end in July, august, onoy slight sounds now and then of the tiny titwren, no robins, nothing. Even the blueberry framer has no need of nets. Given how exquisitely sensitive the system of birds are to radiation, including smart meter radiation, & given the doom filled prognostications of those who insist that Fukushima has already destroyed the Northern Hemisphere, do you think this might possibly be a Silent Spring syndrome or that it might be linked to Fukushima bringing on the early warning signs of mass extinction?