Now I've been googling (virginia woolf birds greek) and up come numerous results, and I've glanced at some book excerpts. The association of birds singing in Greek turns out to be extremely rich and allusive - in a nutshell, birds singing of other realms. Ah, perhaps that's why my off-the-cuff comment landed like a lead balloon - Virginia Woolf heard birds singing, not twittering (a now co-opted word). My bad.
Darling, darling. I walked at the conservation area this morning - and heard cardinals singing wheat wheat and - in French - tu tu, just as I recall my Audubon guide says they do. And so I knew they were cardinals, as well as by the scarlet streaks darting in the thickets.
I hadn't been to the conservation area in ages, six weeks or more. I gave up when for weeks on end it was an unpleasantly slippery skating rink. In winter I frequently ran into a woman around my age who would come every day with her elderly mother - on X-country skis, and their little dog. I'll bet they were there all the days I haven't been over the last weeks, the three of them making their way around the park. And there they were today, pulling in as I was leaving. The park is all green now, snow and ice nearly all melted. It was nice - we waved and exchanged hellos across the parking lot - voyagers of sorts, reunited.
Ah, my voyager, in my ship's log -- in Spanish, bitácora, a beautiful word anglicized (in Spanish) to el blog as I recently read in a wonderful online bitácora -- I tick days off one by one as I make my way across the seas, you too, and someday soon, in the way that tectonic plates shift and perhaps eventually meet, we sailing islandmountainglaciers will collide together as one.
He waited. He listened. A sparrow perched on the railing opposite chirped Septimus, Septimus, four or five times over and went on, drawing its notes out, to sing freshly and piercingly in Greek words how there is no crime and, joined by another sparrow, they sang in voices prolonged and piercing in Greek words, from trees in the meadow of life beyond a river where the dead walk, how there is no death.From Mrs. Dalloway, by Virginia Woolf