What I have discovered…

is that a crow, a rook, a raven, and a jackdaw are all basically crows.  Of those four names for a bird that is powerful, beautiful, and tenacious, only raven can be used as a complimentary term.  Remember the Disney show entitled “Raven” or the lead character’s name was Raven?  Maybe you have to have offspring similar in age to mine to even know of what I refer.  Can you imagine a parent naming their child “Crow”?  What’s in a name?  Why did this bird get a bad reputation?

In honor of the week before Halloween, I was going to treat you to the stanzas of Mr. Poe’s classic “Once upon a midnight dreary…” but in looking thru Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, I found some stanzas of a poem called “The Jackdaw of Rheims” by Richard Harris Barham written in 1840 that was tremendous fun to read.  Here is an except…

“The Cardinal rose with a dignified look,

He called for his candle, his bell, and his book!

            In holy anger, and pious grief,

            He solemnly cursed that rascally thief!

            He cursed him at board, he cursed him in bed,

            From the sole of his foot to the crown of his head!

            He cursed him in sleeping, that every night

            He should dream of the devil, and wake in a fright;

            He cursed him in eating, he cursed him in drinking,

            He cursed him in coughing, in sneezing, in winking;

            He cursed him in sitting, in standing, in lying;

            He cursed him in walking, in riding, in flying;

            He cursed him in living, he cursed him in dying! –

Never was heard such a terrible curse!

            But what gave rise to no little surprise,

Nobody seemed one penny the worse!” 

You can visit here to read the rest of this entertaining poem and to find out just to whom all that cursing was directed.  Also of interest to me are the significance of  bell, book and candle (remember that movie with Jimmy Stewart?  I loved that movie and Bewitched which I always assumed was inspired from it)  and Jem Crow (have to read the whole poem).   Guess I need to do more research.


Here is my finished tapestry of the rook.  I resisted the desire to go into photoshop and straighten the skewed edges so I present it to you flaws and all, my first weaving in several months.  I went into the weaving with a needle and floss to mimic the sketch lines of my original watercolor. 

What I have not discovered is how to “return” on WordPress without inserting a line break.  Any help out there?


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5 Responses to “What I have discovered…”

  1. Jennifer Says:

    Love the rook! I’m so glad you did not photoshop it and let us see it in it’s natural state! I think you did a great job and look forward to more!

  2. steve Says:

    Wow! How long did that take to do?

  3. Karen Owen Says:

    Hey, did you remember I used that poem a while back with a collage I did? Here’s a link – http://karenink.typepad.com/karens_muse_and_musings/2008/05/the-jackdaw.html

    Your weaving is beautiful. I, too, am glad you didn’t photoshop it. Although, I must confess, I have a hard time not correcting imperfections in PS when I post.

  4. laurenfinley Says:

    Karen, I must confess I did not remember it until I went back to see it. Your jackdaw is beautiful but I must not have bothered to read the poem in its entirety. It was not familiar to me at all when I came across it in Bartletts. Funny how we both liked it, we must be alike!

  5. K Spoering Says:

    Whatever you call it, it is terrific! I love crows… they sit in my trees and curse unconcernedly at my pets, my neighbors, and me. There are days when I agree with their curses, and quite think they have it all right. Your bird captures the attitude wonderfully.

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