Saturday, September 24, 2016

Quoth the Parrot “Nevermore”


Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more.”

We learned probably as children that there was a raven tapping at Edgar Allan Poe's chamber door. Only this and nothing more. But it might have been a parrot.

Poe originally considered featuring a parrot in his classic poem, because of course, parrots can talk. The parrots that Poe would have known and admired in the early 19th century would have been exotic and colorful macaws brought back by mariners from South America or bright white cockatoos from Australia and the South Pacific. Neither would have been appropriate for the dark and mournful mood Poe wanted to set for the poem.

Our Blue and Gold macaw parrot Aboo, too loud, colorful and boisterous for a dark poem

Goffin's Cockatoo Kid Kadra, too loud, boisterous, and bright; and an outright juvenile delinquent

Not black. Not dark. Not mournful. So Poe decided to feature a raven instead. Black. Mournful. And best of all for Poe, ravens also can talk. As Charles Dickens demonstrated in Barnaby Rudge, a book Poe read and admired. Thus the raven quoth "nevermore".

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Question: How Do You Give a Pedicure To a Blue Feathered Dinosaur?

Answer: Very Carefully!


Saturday, September 3, 2016

Parrot Created God In Her Image

How is it Adam and Eve had a parrot? Albrecht Dürer (German, Nuremberg 1471 - 1528) The Fall of Man (Adam and Eve) 1504




Native to North Africa and India, Ringed-neck parrots or parakeets are established in Germany today, but in the Germany of 1504? Not so much. In medieval Europe parrot keeping was exclusively the domain of the nobility.

A renowned artist like Albrecht Dürer, whose patrons included Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, was used to the rarified atmosphere of medieval courts and most likely saw a parrot or two in his courtly rounds. To illustrate the importance Albrecht Dürer must have assigned to parrots, the Fall of Man was the first engraving that Albrecht Dürer actually signed. And his signature is hanging from the same branch the parrot is perched on.