Thursday, April 09, 2009

To Kill a Mockingbird

A mockingbird is a common bird species that can be found in across North America from Southern Canada to Mexico and expended to Hawaii as well. Asian may not be familiar with this bird species. We have lots of crows, pigeons and may be swallows, now that it's been rared for its valuable nests in empty buildings or abandoned houses :)

Back to mockingbird, it is a common bird found in any kind of habitats, be it the forest up to the city. Meaning that it is so very common in America and can be found just anywhere. It is the state bird of Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas. (Source: 50 States.Com)

What's so interesting about this bird that makes me want to elaborate? You might ask :)

The scientific name for a common mocking bird is Mimus polyglottos translated as "many-tongued mimic'. Why? Obviously because this bird can mimic other bird's sounds including the sound of insects and frogs so perfectly. You may not tell the difference. It loves to sing, night and day. Some think it's wonderful. Some think it's an annoyance. I think, it's amazing!

Nothing much to say about looks. The bird is gray and boring looking, I might say. However, much to be said for its singing and mimicry talent. More and more came to admire. These are a few examples:

"Oh Mockingbird have you ever heard words that I've never heard" ~ Bob Marley quotes (Jamaican Singer, Composer and Guitarist. 1945-1981)

" No; we have been as usual asking the wrong question. It does not matter the hoot what the mockingbird on the chimney is singing. The real proper question is: Why is it beautiful?" ~ Bertrand Russel quotes (English Logician & Philosopher (1972-1970)

Nature Poem - Mockingbird
By William R. Jantzen

A little feathered angel
perching high in a towering dominion.
Sweet throated messenger,
delivering his sermon
from an array of twigs and branches.
A songster preaching from his leafy pulpit,
awakening his congregation.
He calls to us.
His magical enrapture carries on the wind.
A hermit of song,
yet a choral orchestration of a thousand voices.
His balled comforts the wandering
and the lonely heart.
He embraces the enlightened soul,
bathing in the first light of the day.
A child draws near as lovers pause
and delight in his endless melody.
Awaken to him and listen.
For his joyous song,
lives within all of us.

I love birds. I wrote many postings in the past related to birds, didn't I :)

Back to the real reason of this posting is "To Kill a Mockingbird", a phenomenal book by Harper Lee. GO GET IT NOW!

A one time wonder masterpiece by Harper Lee. Her only book and a proven must read by anyone who likes literature and just anyone who has soft spot for children and anyone who care about the society we live in. You must grab this one and read. You will never regret it.

It took me too long to get into this book because so many books out there to pick from. Sometimes you need a friend to suggest to you to make you read one good book. 'To Kill a Mockingbird' is one of those good books by suggestion because it is an old book written so long ago. First published in 1961. Then made into film in 1962 for its tremendous success. It is now sold more than 30 million copies! It won't sell that high if it's not good, right. So believe me :)

I will not write the synopsis about this magnificent book for I want everyone who loves knowledge to read this book and understand. Harper Lee tells a story from the eyes of a little girl. She brought forward a very sensitive and heavy subject such us civil rights, education system, family institution and racial prejudice into her book with a simple understanding of children.

I must quote this one:

"I'd rather you shoot at tin cans in the backyard, but I know you'll go after birds. Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird." ~ Scout's father, Atticus, tells Scout and Jem when they told their father that they wanted to learn shooting with a gun.

And this one:

"Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mocking bird." Ms. Maudie explained to Scout why her father said it is a sin to kill a mockingbird.

'Mockingbird' here is an allegory used as the novel's title and in the story telling to explain good, innocent people who are destroyed by evil. In this book, the metaphor is for Boo Radley and Tom Robinson as they are the mockingbirds of the society they live in. They had been treated wrongly for the crime they did not commit.

Want to know more... please read this book!

Photos Note:
1. Bird photo : State Symbols USA website
2. Book cover photo: Harper Lee.Com
3. Film photo: Harper Lee.Com

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