magnificent, mysterious messengers

"If you could hear..." by Eve Parnell
“If you could hear…”   pencil drawing by Eve Parnell, 2016

Ravens – na Fiacha dubha – I always loved those magnificent blue-black birds.  Up in the Wicklow mountains, miles from anywhere,  you might hear one…   just somewhere up there between heaven and earth, you’d hear its hoarse caw and then it would appear from over a hill, freewheeling across the sky.

This week, I want to mention a beautiful exhibition of drawings by Eve Parnell that is on at the moment in The Long Gallery, Parliament Buildings, Stormont. These are drawings of Ravens,  drawings to commemorate all those who died 100 years ago, in the Easter Rising and in the Battle of the Somme. She selected a number of significant lines of poetry from the time, from poems by Thomas Hardy, Patrick Pearse, WB Yeats, Wilfred Owen and Rupert Brooke, to name a few, and she inscribed these on ribbons that were held in the beaks of the ravens.

Ravens sometimes get a bad press, being carrion feeders and consequently being associated with war and death but… (and some people even give out about their hoarse caw!) but I like them. And some people view them as messengers from the Gods… Have you ever seen one flying upside down? – magnificent, mysterious birds.

The exhibition continues until the 24th of June.




  1. Reminds me of the recent and ongoing wild fires in Northern Alberta smoke and more smoke . we have lots of ravens. Ravens and Eagles are very important in Aboriginal Culture. Magnificent birds


  2. Thanks for taking an interest in my stuff. I was captured by this drawing and the evocative power of the raven. I seem to recall that they are perhaps the most intelligent of the birds and doing a quick google learned that they are thought to be the reason why wolves hunt in packs (to stop their kills being scavenged by Ravens). It is also possible that Ravens attract wolves to prey and so act in a kind of partnership! Whatever, Ravens do somehow embody a strangely fascinating poetic quality, a sort of encounter with an entirely different wild reality to our little preoccupations.

    Liked by 1 person

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