Home
Latest Issue
Guidelines
Submit
Subscriptions
Contests
Winter Wheat
Workshops
Archives
Author Index
History
Contact Us
Staff
Links
Creative Writing at BGSU

 

 

 

 

Podcast
Latest News
Facebook Share on Facebook

MAR on Facebook

On the Spread of Democracy

Vol. XXVI, no. 2

Ian Harris

Eugene Schieffelin let eighty starlings into Central Park in March 1890: He planned to introduce to North America each bird appearing in Shakespeare's plays. This, according to The Ornithology of Shakespeare by James Edmund Harting.

Hotspur: ... Nay,
I'll have a starling shall be taught to speak
Nothing but "Mortimer," and give it him
to keep his anger still in motion.

And the charter of the American Acclimatization Society: "... the introduction of such foreign varieties of the animal and vegetable kingdom as may be useful or interesting."

* * *

There are now believed to be two-hundred million starlings in North America.

Starlings outcompete nearly every species of North American bird.
A starling was once witnessed luring a pileated woodpecker by dangling a worm in front of its hole. The starling then murdered the other bird with several pecks to its eyes.

Banquo: It will be rain to-night.

First Murderer: Let it come down.

They set upon Banquo.

* * *

A flock of starlings is called a murmuring, which can sometimes appear like a widening phrase of bombs come down.

Bomb murmuring. A trade-bead cluster.

Let it come down ...

Caliban: ... and teach me how to name the bigger light.