The previous day I had managed to find and organise a date for us cousins to have our annual gathering – not until the autumn, but better late than not.
I was sitting finishing off the last knitting on the shawl, listening to R4. The poetry programme came on (Poetry Please). The introduction to the next poem made me laugh out loud – a reference to a phrase in the poem – ‘an argumentation of uncles and aunts’ – oh yes! I recognise that.
The poem was new to me. Kin, by Deborah Harvey, a poet who lives nearby in Bristol.
Another phrase resonant for me in connection with my family: ‘cacophonous cousins’. Oh yes indeed. We’re a noisy bunch when we get together.
The poem uses the metaphor of ‘a parliament of starlings’ for a description of her family, and is a delight. You can read it here on her website – I hope you will.
And what a lovely phrase – ‘a parliament of starlings’. If you’ve ever listened to Yesterday in Parliament or PMs questions, you’ll understand why that phrase is so perfect (for good or bad).
How interesting that birds have such descriptive words associated with them. Though I think ‘parliament’ is usually applied to rooks (and owls?). The collective word for the image below is a murmuration of starlings. And a very beautiful thing is it is to see*.
*the image here was taken by Malcolm at Ham Wall RSPB Reserve in Somerset early in 2015. I wrote about it here.