‘The Bird’ takes its title from T. S. Eliot’s motif of directory birds in his lyric poetry. ‘Go go go said the bird’ in Burnt Norton, ushering the reader away from the scene of their potential youth, away from the dusty rose petals and the path untaken. Cape Anne’s birds span the cycles of life, the ‘seagull’ being that bird to which the world may be left, ‘the tough one’. Birds in Eliot’s lyrics inherit the earth after humanity, populate it laughingly during our lifetimes, and usher us through life, leading us away from longing. Considering Eliot’s usher of the bird in ‘Burnt Norton’, away from the objects which evoke memory, ‘disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose petals’, I painted a scene of my own jewellery box, filled with partially dried rose petals, next to an unlit candle.
Oil on canvas