Like the First Day of the World

by Thomas Wolfe, from A Stone, a Leaf, a Door

And he cried, “Glory! Glory!”
And we rode all through the night,
And round and round the park,
And then dawn came,
And all of the birds began to sing.

And now the bird-song broke in the first light,
And suddenly I heard each sound the bird-song made.
It came to me like music I had always heard,
It came to me like music I had always known,
The sounds of which I never yet had spoken,
And now I heard the music of each sound
As clear and bright as gold,
And the music of each sound was this:

At first it rose above me like a flight of shot,
And then I heard the sharp, fast skaps of sound the bird-song made.
And now with chittering bicker and fast-fluttering skirrs of sound
The palmy, honied bird-cries came.
And now the bird-tree sang,
All filled with lutings in bright air;
The thrum, the lark’s wing, and tongue-trilling chirrs arose.
With liquorous, liquefied lutings,
WIth lirruping chirp, plumbellied smoothness, sweet lucidity.
And now I heard the rapid
Kweet-kweet-kweet-kweet-kweet of homely birds,
And then their pwee-pwee-pwee:
Others had thin metallic tongues,
A sharp cricketing stitch, and high shrews’ caws,
With eery rasp, with harsh, far calls–
These were the sounds the bird-cries made.

All the birds that are
Awoke in the park’s woodland tangles;
And above them passed the whirr of hidden wings,
The strange lost cry of the unknown birds
In full light now in the park,
The sweet confusion of their cries was mingled.

“Sweet is the breath of morn,
Her rising sweet with charm of earliest birds,”
And it was just like that.
And the sun came up,
And it was like the first day of the world.

Please pass the chicken.

Like many people in America, we have been watching a little bit of the Olympic trials. One of my sons asked me when they were going to do the “running thing with the guys that pass the rubber chicken.” Huh? He insisted that he remembered reading about a 4-man relay where the participants passed each other a rubber chicken; he even modeled the poses as he remembered them from the book. While we all enjoyed a good laugh from this, it did give me an idea–wouldn’t it be more interesting if the relay involved passing along a live chicken? Now that would be fun to watch!