Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Birds

by Aristophanes, a play 414 BC. This is the chorus of the Nightingale and other birds.
Hear us, you who are no more than leaves always falling, you mortals benighted by nature,
You enfeebled and powerless creatures of earth always haunting a world of mere shadows,
Entities without wings, insubstantial as dreams, you ephemeral things, you human beings:
Turn your minds to our words, our etherial words, for the words of the birds last forever!

In the play, humans and birds agree to build a city in the sky to improve conditions for both: the humans will acquire flight and the birds will no longer be hunted, and by combining their strength, they will conquer the Gods dwelling on Mt Olympus and gain their Sovereignty. The birds' King is the Hoopoe and he looks like this:

His Latin name is Upupa epops which makes me giggle a bit.

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