June 01, 2007

Swan Song

Swan Song - A final gesture or performance, given before dying.

Swans are fascinating. It's their unparalleled beauty and their graceful form that has made them a part of many folk-lores from different cultures across the world. They are an epitome of purity and for those who did not know, swans mate for life. Sigh!!!!

The expression, Swan Song has its roots in a myth.......a very poignant myth. It was once believed that upon death, the otherwise silent Mute Swan (in reality, it's not a completely silent bird, only less vocal than other swans)would sing one achingly beautiful song just before dying. This legend was well-known to be false as early as the days of ancient Greece, when Pliny the Elder refuted it in Natural History, AD 77. The legend stayed though to give us the expression.

Trivia: Socrates' last words before being put to death in 399 AD: "You think I cannot see as far ahead as a swan. You know that when swans feel the approach of death they sing, and they sing sweeter and louder on the last days of their lives because they are going back to that God whom they serve." (Plato)

Sources: The Usual suspects :)
http://www.answers.com, http://en.wikipedia.org/, http://www.phrases.org.uk/

Pic Courtesy: Google Images


666 said...

hhhmm .. wasnt aware that they are together for life. The next time I see two together, I shall smile and blesss them.

suramya said...

we can learn a few lessons from fidelity from them :), love the picture.

yogsma said...

wow..the trivia of Socrates made my day Moi. The picture is reminding me a painted picture of two swans we had in our 8th Standard English text book for story of Nala and Damayanti.

Moi said...

666: please do...they are the rara avis (pun un-intended!!!) :)
and there u go ..overshadowing another of my posts with ur sticky one!!! kidding :DDD

Su : true!!! i really think this is one bird that has quite a personality!!! and i loved the pic too....love the gold tints in it and look at the grace of her bent neck..oh my!!! selected the pic from many coz i thought this wud go well with Semantica's background :)

Yogesh : nal and damyanti....my my i remember this one....the story i mean. And love that name : damyanti...thanx for bringing it back to the memory ...one reason why i love this blog so much....:)