Saturday, October 12, 2013

To make the acquaintence of birds

In contrast to my rather bleak post evoked by Jonathan Franzen's article in National Geographic documenting the trapping and slaughter of song birds all across Europe and the Middle East, I recently came across a sweet and gentle book about the joy observing birds can bring.

The book was lying untouched in a colleague's office, so I brought it home to read and enjoy, and I share two sample pages from it here - click on images to enlarge. The book was written and beautifully illustrated by Ran Levi Yamamori, with translation into Arabic by Balig Achmad Jazi. Yamamori seems to run a publishing house which produces many beautiful books.

The Hoopoe (above)  is Israel's national bird

PS. The book reminded me of this poem by Yehuda Amichai.

 I came upon an old zoology textbook,
 Brehm, Volume II, Birds:
 in sweet phrases, an account of the life of the starling,
 swallow, and thrush. Full of mistakes in antiquated
 Gothic typeface, but full of love, too. "Our feathered
 friends." "Migrate from us to warmer climes."
 Nest, speckled egg, soft plumage, nightingale,
 stork. "The harbirngers of spring." The robin,

 Year of publication: 1913, Germany,
 on the eve of the war that was to be
 the eve of all my wars.
 My good friend who died in my arms, in
 his blood,
 on the sands of Ashdod. 1948, June.

 Oh my-friend,
(From 7 Laments for the War Dead) 

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