The Halcyon

halcyon bird

“Halcyon” is a name for a bird in Greek legend generally associated with the kingfisher. 

 

Though now a true bird, tropically bright
Asian and African kingfisher with colored plumage,
once a mythical bird said by ancients
to breed in a calmed sea-floating nest
at winter solstice, charming wind and waves.

 


The Halcyon (/ˈhælsiən/) is a genus of the tree kingfishers. In Greek mythology, the goddess Halcyon (Alcyone in Greek) was the daughter of Aeolus, the ruler of the winds.  But the bird in Greek legend was one that nested on the sea, which it was able to calm in order to lay its eggs on a floating nest around the time of the winter solstice. This brought two weeks of calm weather and led to the use of halcyon as a term for peace or calmness.

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