Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Where Late The Sweet Birds Sang

I was fact-checking my post.  The Shakespeare phrase I am using as a title is also the title of a popular, award-winning science fiction novel published in 1976 by Kate Wilhelm. (I ordered the book, a classic, and am adding it to my Labor Day reading list.) 


Loons, egrets and grebes in speculative activity, insects riding light waves, and in the reedier section red wing blackbirds mounted like warning strobes. A great blue poker-faced wader parses the creek, the detritus vomited up on account of yesterday’s storm--rubber balls, Aristotelian logic, Styrofoam cups, diapers, beer cans, Euclidean geometry, candy wrappers, energy supplement ampoules, a broken violin, 50-quart coolers, dental picks—a supersweet stench ascending from mauve scum.

 (Shakespeare, from sonnet LXXIII)

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.

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