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Bobolink! Bobolink!

June 20, 2010

I saw this bird two weeks ago and believe it or not, I’m still thinking about it. Talk about a bird with a great hairdo! It reminds me of that phase we all went through in grade 8 or so, when we started experimenting with hair dyes and the results were often nothing short of unfortunate. Anyhow, the Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) has it right: he’s a type of blackbird with a stunning yellow nape (is that the right word? basically, the back of his head. I’m assuming that’s what the nape actually is.):

I think the Bobolink is officially the Rock Star of all birds. He’s a total punk rocker, in the grooviest sense of the word! In any event, I’m impressed. And, I just learned that Emily Dickinson was also entirely taken with the bird and wrote a series of bobolink poems. Here is one of them, “The Way to Know the Bobolink”:

The Way to Know The Bobolink
From every other Bird
Precisely as the Joy of him —
Obliged to be inferred.

Of impudent Habiliment
Attired to defy,
Impertinence subordinate
At times to Majesty.

Of Sentiments seditious
Amenable to Law–
As Heresies of Transport
Or Puck’s Apostacy.

Extrinsic to Attention
Too intimate with Joy —
He compliments existence
Until allured away

By Seasons or his Children–
Adult and urgent grown —
Or unforeseen aggrandizement
Or, happily, Renown —

By contrast certifying
The Bird of Birds is gone–
How nullified the Meadow–
Her Sorcerer withdrawn!

(And you can listen to the Bobolink right here.)

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