How does the poet depict the features and characteristics of kingfishers?

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In part 1 of the poem, the kingfishers, and specifically their feathers, are associated with wealth. The feathers of these birds "were wealth," but the export of the feathers seems to have stopped. Later in the poem, in part 3, this idea of wealth is compounded by the repetition of the word "gold" when describing an artistic impression of the kingfisher bird. Indeed, this impression of the kingfisher is rendered with "eyes of gold" and with "the quills gold, the feet gold." The color gold connotes preciousness and beauty, implying that the kingfisher is a precious, beautiful bird.

In part 2 of the poem, the kingfisher is said to have taken "the color of his breast / from the heat of the setting sun!" The kingfisher is also associated with the sun in the same stanza, in the line, "the kingfisher / de l'aurore," which translates as "the kingfisher of the dawn." The sun is symbolic of heat, and thus passion, and also of energy and liveliness. Associating the kingfisher with the sun, therefore, suggests that it, too, is a bird of passion and energy.

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