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Sunday Times Books LIVE

Máire Fisher

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Of Birds and Books

I’ve finally done it. My novel will be published by Umuzi in August, 2014, and Books LIVE has kindly allowed me to write here as a writer-member. The novel is called Birdseye and it’s about a young girl called Bird who comes at the tail-end of a large family. She’s the one who tells the family stories. She’s the all-seeing eye.

Bird on wire 2

I like the idea of Bird flying high. And of course there’s the song that goes with the thought. Haven’t been able to get it out of my head for days and I know how irritating that can become for the people around me, who have to put up with snatches of  the song that won’t leave me alone. Pity I don’t sound like Nina Simone.  There are other songs and music that will bring Bird to mind, words and art, and I’m looking forward to browsing my way to them. But tonight’s wonderful gift was this YouTube link, from my writing friend, Christine Coates: Birds on the Wires, by Jarbas Agnelli  It’s great when one link leads to the next; here’s  a bit more about Jarbas Agnelli According to one person commenting on the piece ‘this is “old” (in Internet time) but still cool.’ I find it very cool. Especially as I’d been looking for a new image for my Twitter account and had come across a photo I took in Montagu a while ago, of a bird on a wire. I had some fun with it in Picasa, and then in Photoshop. 


For now, Bird’s come to rest, ‘perched in the sky’.  Maybe there’ll be a new Bird song in my mind tomorrow.

twitter bird 19

The tame bird was in a cage

The tame bird was in a cage, the free bird was in the forest.
They met when the time came, it was a decree of fate.
The free bird cries, “O my love, let us fly to wood.”
The cage bird whispers, “Come hither, let us both live in the cage.”
Says the free bird, “Among bars, where is there room to spread one’s wings?”
“Alas,” cries the cage bird, “I should not know where to sit perched in the sky.”

The free bird cries, “My darling, sing the songs of the woodlands.”
The cage bird says, “Sit by my side, I’ll teach you the speech of the learned.”
The forest bird cries, “No, ah no! songs can never be taught.”
The cage bird says, “Alas for me, I know not the songs of the woodlands.”

Their love is intense with longing, but they never can fly wing to wing.
Through the bars of the cage they look, and vain is their wish to know each other.
They flutter their wings in yearning, and sing, “Come closer, my love!”
The free bird cries, “It cannot be, I fear the closed doors of the cage.”
The cage bird whispers, “Alas, my wings are powerless and dead.”

Rabindranath Tagore, Nobel Laureate (1861-1941)









Recent comments:

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Colleen</a>
    March 7th, 2014 @08:04 #

    Congratulations Maire! So pleased for and proud of you.

  • Maire
    March 7th, 2014 @13:26 #

    Thanks so much Colleen, for your friendship and your gentle encouragement!

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    March 10th, 2014 @10:14 #

    It sounds like a beautiful novel, I look forward to reading Bird's story.

  • Maire
    March 10th, 2014 @10:32 #

    Thanks, Alex! I love to think of you reading Birdseye! Makes it feel very real!


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