Saturday, June 1, 2013

Just a sparrow

photo of a chipping sparrow
© harrington
Hi. Thanks for stopping by on this first day of meteorological Summer. Spring, such as she was, has slipped by while leaving behind her rain and temperatures. To capture the cusp of the Spring's swing into Summer, I've been taking pictures of flowers and birds. The bird in the picture is, I believe, a chipping sparrow. Do you ever wonder about how many different types of sparrows there are? Do you think about why there would be so many bird kinds that look so similar? Or, are you like many of us, who see the world from a point of view that considers "a sparrow is a sparrow is a sparrow is a sparrow" (with apologies to Gertrude Stein). Some of us, some of the time, are more aware of the reality behind the reality around us. In a book I'm reading these perpetual Spring days (Coming Close, Forty Essays on Philip Levine), I came across this excerpt from "The Sparrow" by William Carlos Williams
Practical to the end,
                it is the poem
                                    of his existence
that triumphed
                      finally;
                                    a wisp of feathers
flattened to the pavement,
                 wings spread symmetrically
                                       as if in flight,
the head gone,
                the black escutcheon of the breast
                                       undecipherable,
an effigy of a sparrow,
                 a dried wafer only,
                                       left to say
and it says it
                  without offense,
                                      beautifully;
This was I,
                 a sparrow.
                                     I did my best;
farewell.
Williams dedicated this poem to his father. Father's day isn't far off. It's slightly more than halfway between meteorological and astronomical Summer's start. Do you ever wonder about how many different types of father's there are? Do you think about why there would be so many father kinds that seem to be so similar? Or, for you, is "a father just a father just a father just a father?" You have some time between now and June 16 to think about it if you choose. And you could think about sparrows from this perspective also. In any case, try to do your best. Thanks for listening. Come again when you can. Rants, raves and reflections served daily here at My Minnesota.