~Sonnet Of A Whip-Poor-Will~
A Sonnet of one of my favorite birds, the Whip-Poor-Will. It is said that the song of a Whip-Poor-Will is the ill omen of death. This has not been my experience, in fact I found a baby Whip-Poor-Will who had fallen from its nest. It was an ugly thing, but not evil. I saw many of these over the years, especially on walks after dusk. They are of the Nighthawk family, technically classified as Nightjars.
A quote about the Legend of Whip-Poor-Wills.
"In the past, night-flying birds - such as the Whip-poor-wills - have had a somewhat sinister reputation and were even suspected of witchery.
The Mohegan Tribe held the belief that makiwasug (magical little people) travelled through the forest at night in the shape of whipp-poor-wills.
According to Reverend Samuel Andrew Peters' book "General History of Connecticut" (1781), Whip-poor-wills were able to predict storms.
According to the beliefs of Native Americans and American folklore, the singing of the Whip-poor-will is death omen. Author Clifton Johnson stated that if a whip-poor-will's calls are heard near a house, it would be a sign of impending death.
H.P. Lovecraft's story "The Dunwich Horror" spread the belief that the Whip-poor-wills can sense impending death and will remain close to catch the departing soul as it leaves the body.
"It is whispered that they linger and flutter around houses where death is approaching, hoping to catch the soul of the departed as it leaves" ("The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories", by H.P. Lovecraft, S.T. Joshi. New York, Penguin Books, 2001)"...