English Literature and Flemish Painting

This Christmas my wife received a really nice book from my parents titled, Bird-Watcher’s Bible published by National Geographic. We were thumbing through it the other day and came upon a painting similar to the one below. I was immediately attracted to the comically diverse flock. Chaucer’s poem that inspired the painting is titled, “Parlement of Foules.” And he writes:

Therewith a wind, scarcely it might be less,
Made in the leaves green a noise soft
Accordant to the fowls’ song aloft.

It seems unlikely that the song is “soft” owing to the paucity of song birds depicted below. What a racket. And what a mess they will leave behind.

The Parliament of Birds by Carl Wilhelm de Hamilton (1668-1754).

The Parliament of Birds by Carl Wilhelm de Hamilton (1668-1754).

3 responses to “English Literature and Flemish Painting

  1. I love that one, Ned. Though I’m now going to be rather melancholy the rest of the day. Extinct birds do that to me.

  2. Liz,
    Yeah, me too, but there’s also something funny to me about Ford’s depiction of what we once viewed as innumerable but is now extinct.

What say you?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s