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:

Wendy's Writing said...

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

Linda G. said...

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

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

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

Rosemary Gemmell said...

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

Vanessa Morgan said...

New follower through Bloglovin.

Allie Hamilton said...

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

Anonymous said...

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?

Frances Garrood said...

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....

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I wonder why they call it a swan song then?

Patsy said...

Probably wisest to keep them apart, Wendy.

Patsy said...

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

Patsy said...

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

Patsy said...

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

Patsy said...

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

Patsy said...

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

Patsy said...

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

Patsy said...

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

Patsy said...

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.

Editors At Work said...

I love this post. Interesting information.

Nas

Annalisa Crawford said...

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.

Maria said...

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.

Patsy said...

Thanks, Nas.

Patsy said...

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

Patsy said...

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.

TracyFells said...

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

lizy-expat-writer said...

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

Misha Gericke said...

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.

:-)

Patsy said...

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

Patsy said...

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

Patsy said...

Thanks for explaining that, Misha!

Amanda said...

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

Michael Di Gesu said...

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!

Maria Perry Mohan said...

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

Patsy said...

It would indeed, Amanda.

Patsy said...

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.

Patsy said...

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

Cara Cooper said...

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

Nas said...

Thanks for the link! Love swans and the long necks specially!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

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