Tuesday, February 26, 2013

News at Eleven: At Deyrolle, there was a handsome nightjar,

a bird I know from poems by Sylvia Plath and Emily Dickinson, a medium-sized nocturnal bird--with long wings, short legs, and a very short bill--that nests on the ground where its feathers are camouflaged to resemble bark and dry leaves, making it invisible in the night. It is also known as nighthawk, whip-poor-will, or goatsucker. In Plath's "Goatsucker," she writes of the vulgar notion that the bird sucked milk from goats at night:

from The New Yorker: Street of the Iron Po(e)t, Part V


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