Monday, April 21, 2014

“Every genuine thing retains this tone”

“The birds are singing in the rain about the small pond in front, the inquisitive chickadee that has flown at once to the alders to reconnoiter us, the blackbirds, the song sparrow, telling of expanding buds. But above all the robin sings here too, I know not at what distance in the wood. ‘Did he sing thus in Indian days?” I ask myself; for I have always associated this sound with the village and the clearing, but now I do detect the aboriginal wildness in his strain, and can imagine him a woodland bird, and that he sang thus when there was no civilized ear to hear him, a pure forest melody even like the wood thrush. Every genuine thing retains this tone, which no true culture displaces. I heard him even as he might have sounded to the Indian, singing at evening upon the elm above his wigwam, with which was associated in the red man’s mind the events of an Indian’s life, his childhood. Formerly I had heard in it only those strains which tell of the white man’s village life; now I heard those strains which remembered the red man’s life, when these arrowheads, which the rain has made shine so on the lean stubble-field, were fastened to their shaft.”
—From the Journal of Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), April 21, 1852.

 

Images © Quodlibet All Rights Reserved.

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More about birds and birding at this blog:

Bird Behavior
http://quodlibet-sarah.blogspot.com/search/label/Bird%20Behavior

Birding (about the activity of birding)
http://quodlibet-sarah.blogspot.com/search/label/Birding

Birds in Literature and Art
http://quodlibet-sarah.blogspot.com/search/label/Birds%20in%20Literature%20and%20Art

Birds in Migration
http://quodlibet-sarah.blogspot.com/search/label/Birds%20in%20Migration

Birds in My Backyard http://quodlibet-sarah.blogspot.com/search/label/Birds%20in%20my%20Backyard

Birds Out and About [my "patch" around town, outside my backyard]
http://quodlibet-sarah.blogspot.com/search/label/Birds%20Out%20and%20About



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