Saturday, May 08, 2010

A Twenty-first Century Metaphor?

Did anyone else have a college professor announce to the class that references to a bird in a house in Anglo-Saxon literature were metaphors for life? The bird flying into the house was birth and out of the house was death, life happening while the bird was still in the building? I can't find anything about it on the Internet so maybe I misunderstood. I'm quite certain it was my Canadian lit professor who said this, and she would have been talking about British cultural impact on Canadian literature. In fact, Canadian author Margaret Laurence wrote a book called A Bird in the House, which I have not read. I've read her novel A Jest of God, though I remember nothing about it.

Gail, do you have a point? Why, yes, I do. Thank you for asking.

This past week an older family member was telling me about a dream she'd had in which she was in the Congregational church of her childhood and a plane came in through one window and out the other. Well, of course, I immediately thought of my old college professor. Who wouldn't, right? Could this be a twenty-first century version of that old Anglo-Saxon metaphor? An eighty-one-year old woman dreams about the church she attended as a child and a plane is flying in and out of it?

Sounds like a way of summing up life, to me, though the eighty-one-year-old dreamer wasn't so keen on my interpretation.


Anonymous said...

I've always heard the superstition (don't know the origin) that a bird flying through the house means important news is coming. If the bird flies in and gets trapped, that means death. Good thing your family member's dream plane went out the other side! Ann

Gail Gauthier said...

I'll let her know.