Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Swan

I expect you know what a swan is and can probably see where the term swan necked comes from. The birds' graceful progress across the water would account for the phrase swanning about too (I swan about a fair bit, though not usually in a graceful manner. That's what I was doing when I spotted this family.)

A swan song is a person's last work or act before death or retirement. I'm not sure why a large white water bird of the genus Cygnus should be associated with that, or with a form of diving, but it is. 

Did you know that swan can also refer to a poet? And can you guess who has been referred to as the swan of Avon?




39 comments:

  1. where I live, there are swans, swans and nothing but swans... Bonnie thinks she might like to swim with them but I know better!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Probably wisest to keep them apart, Wendy.

      Delete
  2. Lovely picture! I didn't know swan could also refer to a poet--I like that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like it to, Linda. Mind you, my poetry probably just makes me an ugly duckling.

      Delete
  3. Love the picture. :) Swans are such interesting creatures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know much about them, Rachel but they do look good in photos.

      Delete
  4. Love swans, Patsy. What a prize for the story comp!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pretty good eh, Rosemary? I expect there will be a lot of entries.

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Vanessa. I don't know anything about Bloglovin - will look it up.

      Delete
  6. Interesting tidbits of information, Patsy! I love learning something new everyday so thanks for sharing! Best, Allie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like learning stuff too, Allie. That's one of the reasons I do these posts.

      Delete
  7. I'll swan off and see what I've got for that story competition Patsy. Too good to miss isn't it. I love how swans stick together for life as a couple as well, cute eh?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They do look faithful, Suzy. I think they live quite a long time too.

      Delete
  8. I had a horrible experience with a swan once. I don't feel quite the same about them ay more.

    But a £30,0000 comp sounds good....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can understand that a horrible experience might colour your feelings about them, Frances.

      Delete
  9. I wonder why they call it a swan song then?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Apparently there's a myth or legend about a dying swan who sings, Alex. Clearly the myth is less well known than the phrase it spawned.

      Delete
  10. I love this post. Interesting information.

    Nas

    ReplyDelete
  11. We have some lovely local swans who are quite friendly, when they want to be :-) My mum accused me of swanning around a lot when I was younger.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They look as though they could also be aloof if they wanted to, Annalisa.

      Delete
  12. Very informative Patsy, I hadn't heard of a poet being called a swan before.

    I like black swans, I recall seeing them for the first time on a visit to Dawlish in Devon. They are very elegant birds, I love taking pictures of them in their natural habitats whenever I get chance.

    I'm surprised you didn't mention Swan Lake, the famous ballet, and the story of Odette, the beautiful girl turned into a swan. Having never seen ballet live, Swan Lake is on my 'bucket list' of things to do before I am too old...

    Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've see Swan Lake, Maria - well I think it may have been a dress rehearsal. It was a school trip when I was about 6.

      Delete
  13. Lovely swan family Patsy. Thanks for tip on Sunday Times competition, worth a go... now what could I do with £30K???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely worth a go, Tracy - especially for you as you're doing well in competitions at the moment!

      Delete
  14. They're floating a bit low in the water, aren't they? I saw black swans in Australia - that was a shock!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now you mention it they do look low, Lizy. It was really hot so maybe they do it to keep cool?

      Delete
  15. I actually know where the term swan song comes from. People used to believe that the mute swan didn't make a noise until it was about to die. Then it sang beautifully before dying.

    :-)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ooh, wouldn't it be lovely to win 30k for a short story?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Swans are such gorgeous creatures .... AND BLACK SWANS are just magnificent! A former client had a pair of black swans in their pond. Just AMAZING!


    NICE PURSE... GEEZ, who couldn't use that kind of cash!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well if there's anyone who has that amount and no use for it, I'd be happy to take it off their hands, Michael.

      Delete
  18. I'd love to read your novel PAINT ME A PICTURE, Patsy. It's one cover and title that intrigues me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you'll find what's inside equally intriguing, Maria.

      Delete
  19. I love black swans. £30k would be wonderful Patsy, I'll go and take a look at that comp.....

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks for the link! Love swans and the long necks specially!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Patsy .. lots of interesting info here about swans - Swan Upping was recently too .. royalty and all!

    Black Swans - I'd love to see them .. cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for commenting!