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The Bedside Book of Birds by Graeme Gibson

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In an answer of at least 600 words, analyze the following passage. You might want to consider the following
in your analysis: diction (word choice) and connotation, figures of speech (metaphors, similes, etc.), organization, paragraph structure, thesis, tone, or audience. Remember to support your analysis with specific references to the passage. This is an excerpt from the introduction to The Bedside Book of Birds by Graeme Gibson.
**** I came to the birds relatively late in life. For almost thirty-seven years I didn’t understand birdwatching. I remember how eccentric, how curious—even mysterious—I found the activity. Who were these tens of thousands of people with sensible shoes, a predilection1 for paramilitary raingear, and an almost risible2
devotion to birds? Years ago I found myself sheltering by the wheelhouse on the Cachalote, a 52-foot motorsailer cruising
in the Galapagos. A metallic sea was rising beneath sullen clouds that shredded themselves against the hills of Isabella Island. Everything was grey and black, and the ship was pitching uncomfortably. I hadn’t been expecting to see my first albatross until later, on Hood Island, where they nest. But in an abrupt clearing of the mist and driving rain, there it was, drifting low over the ragged sea. Enormous and powerful, effortless as sleep, it crossed our wake and then was gone in another squall.3 While some would say this sighting was merely luck, others might call it grace. Suddenly any memory of whatever I might have learned about the albatross seemed irrelevant. It was enough to have seen it at that moment, and I was left with an enchanted sense that I had received a gift. At its heightened moments, birdwatching can encourage a state of being close to rapture. It is an ecstasy that is said to accompany the writing of poetry; sometimes it comes when we’re listening to music. I suspect that, if I am fortunate enough to await death naturally, dreaming in a chair by some open window, the image of that Waved Albatross, with its great pale head and eight-foot wingspan, will still be a
source of gratitude and wonder to me. ****
1 preference
2 laughable
3 a sudden gust of wind

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