Albatross by Graham Barwell

By Graham Barwell

"At size did go an Albatross, / in the course of the fog it got here; / as though it have been a Christian soul, / We hailed it in God's name." The advent of the albatross in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "The Rime of the traditional Mariner" is still probably the most recognized references to this majestic seabird in Western tradition. In Albatross, Graham Barwell is going past Coleridge to ascertain the position the chicken performs within the lives of a large choice of peoples and societies, from the early perspectives of north Atlantic mariners to fashionable encounters via writers, artists, and filmmakers.

Exploring how the chook has been celebrated in proverbs, folks tales, artwork, and ceremonies, Barwell exhibits how humans surprise on the means the albatross soars in the course of the air, protecting awe-inspiring distances with little attempt because of its amazing wingspan. He surveys the numerous techniques humans have taken to wondering the albatross over the last 2 hundred years—from those that committed their lives to those birds to those that hunted them for foodstuff and sport—and discusses its position within the human mind's eye. Concluding with a mirrored image at the bird's altering importance within the glossy international, Barwell considers threats to its endured life and its customers for the long run. With 100 illustrations from nature, movie, and pop culture, Albatross is an soaking up examine those attractive birds.

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Example text

And mass along these desert floors, to build Their homes of this red rock? Or will they pass And leave the desert here alone with me? I may be here. That rocky shape contains Too much of me to leave, too much of cold And hunger’s written there in that still face, Too much of loneliness and suffering, too. I wanted a job that was big enough for a man— Being mid-wife to a mountain’s big enough. I’ve hammered there, and carved until I know Each curve and crack, each notch upon the stone. The biography of man is written there In every line of that great granite face, The biography of man, and all his dreams.

BANKED FIRES I shall remember when my days are few The twilight on a narrow, winding road; The slender silver moon that days corrode; The star that lent its loveliness to you. The arching of a dream across the years— I shall remember with the slow-winged night The shadow of your hair against the light Of locust trees abloom with frosted tears. I shall remember when my fires are low, The way you looked at me; the words you used; The fragrance of your hurried breath, till lo, Through all the pain of love our spirits fused.

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