The Seabird's Cry Quotes

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The Seabird's Cry: The Lives and Loves of the Planet's Great Ocean Voyagers The Seabird's Cry: The Lives and Loves of the Planet's Great Ocean Voyagers by Adam Nicolson
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“She revived the extraordinary Anglo-Saxon word dustsceawung, meaning ‘the fascination experienced by someone looking at a ruin, a kind of daydream of dust, pondering that which has been lost: dust-seeing, dust-chewing, dust-cheering. The daydream of a mind strung between past and present.”
Adam Nicolson, The Seabird's Cry: The Lives and Loves of the Planet's Great Ocean Voyagers
“No one has ever encountered the full burning ecstatic beauty of a seabird quite in the way the twenty-two-year-old Herman Melville, crewing as a green hand on board a New Bedford whaler deep in the South Pacific at some time in 1841, first met an albatross. It was during a prolonged gale, in waters hard upon the Antarctic seas. From my forenoon watch below, I ascended to the overclouded deck; and there, dashed upon the main hatches, I saw a regal, feathery thing of unspotted whiteness, and with a hooked, Roman bill sublime. At intervals, it arched forth its vast archangel wings, as if to embrace some holy ark. Wondrous flutterings and throbbings shook it. Though bodily unharmed, it uttered cries, as some king’s ghost in supernatural distress. Through its inexpressible, strange eyes, methought I peeped to secrets which took hold of God. As Abraham before the angels, I bowed myself; the white thing was so white, its wings so wide, and in those for ever exiled waters, I had lost the miserable warping memories of traditions and of towns. Long I gazed at that prodigy of plumage”
Adam Nicolson, The Seabird's Cry: The Lives and Loves of the Planet's Great Ocean Voyagers
“Look at them on days like that, when the wind is blowing through the boundaries of fresh and stiff, and you will see them for what they are: wind-runners, wind-dancers, the wind-spirits, alive with an evolved ability to live with the wind, in it and on it, drawing out its energy to make their own feathered, mobile, ocean-ranging magnificence.”
Adam Nicolson, The Seabird's Cry: The Lives and Loves of the Planet's Great Ocean Voyagers
“Sometimes looking at the fulmar’s gaping, mouth-opening, mutually frenzied, head-bobbing, nibbling, shout-laughing version of ‘I love you/I hate you’, which can begin calmly enough but then builds to a tumultuous, guffawing, totalizing climax, I have thought that only in the ecstatic moments of life can we come near to knowing the reality of a bird’s mind.”
Adam Nicolson, The Seabird's Cry: The Lives and Loves of the Planet's Great Ocean Voyagers