The Language of Birds

The Green Language is a term used among Renaissance alchemists and mystics to refer to the Language of Birds, which was thought to be a divine and mystical tongue in which all true knowledge could be articulated.


In Old English, the word for poet is scop, connected to the Old Norse skald, with the implication of both seership and also the verb scapan, which also means to shape, to create, to form.

“In writing a poem, as in building a boat or fixing an engine or mapping a river or treating a broken heart, we give ourselves to something else, which is not us. To do so helps to make us whole.”  Robert Bringhurst, The Silence That is Not Poetry

This is somehow true of all heartfelt creative accomplishments. Anyone who has been deeply immersed in creating knows how the rest of world fades away and reality blurs at the edges. Time becomes irrelevant and the process leads us on a journey that is almost beyond our will.

Sylvia Linsteadt speaks of how, although poetry is beyond language, it uses words to “allow the embers of being to kindle through us, that we might gather them in our pockets and warm ourselves with the remembrance that all things are in us, and we are in all things.”

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