Courtb0402's Blog

Journal #4

Posted on: November 17, 2010

Courtney Banko

Professor Summerour

English 111

17 Nov 2010

Journal 4

       While reading “Joyas Volardores”, by Brian Doyle, I felt sympathy for the hummingbirds. As it says in the essay “they suffer heart attacks and aneurysms and ruptures more than any other living creature.” (81) I did not know that hummingbirds had heart attacks, I never even considered it. Not only do they have heart attacks but these little birds have to keep flying or else they are at risk of dying. That would be like humans having to walk non-stop in order to stay alive. They really have to work hard in order to stay alive.

       Doyle talks about a few species and some of the things that they do throughout their lives, but he paints a bigger picture with his words. I would have never thought that such an essay like this could have been written just by observing a hummingbird and incorporating other organisms. There are a few bigger ideas that he plays with in this essay. By explaining how a hummingbird has to stay alive Doyle makes readers think about their life. Humans typically don’t have to fight to stay alive as in the hummingbird’s situation. He also says, “Every creature on earth has approximately two billion heartbeats to spend in a lifetime.” (82) By that he means we all have about the same lifespan we just choose to live differently from others. Lastly, he says that the human heart can be strong for so long before it’s melted by a flood of emotions.

       In this essay and “I Stand Here Ironing,” ordinary things are observed. A family that has had their share of ups and downs in life is depicted in “I Stand Here Ironing.” Literally the mother is ironing while thinking back on her life and how her older daughter grew up. A hummingbird flying around is an ordinary thing. Normally we would just sit back and watch as it gracefully steadies itself to drink from a feeder, but once again it is observed and more complex thought is put into it.  Ironing and hummingbirds are not rare; they are everyday things that people see. The observation of ordinary things is what links these too writing pieces together.

Works Cited

Doyle, Brian. “Joyas Volardores.” Seeing and Writing 4.       

             Ed.Karen S. Henry. Bedford: St. Martin’s, 2010.

             81-83. Print.


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