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Friday, 14 March 2008


I was meaning 'Hurrah'...

I am dramatically lacking of appropriate references and knowledge to really understand and appreciate the poem. But I can at least comment on Dark Puss's comments (below) and to see a cat mentionning the Milky Way is priceless! Hurray for the lovely feline!

Harriet is most inventive, but I'm sticking to my "we need it to rhyme" theory! However you look at the Pleiades (except through a large telescope) you will see a lovely cluster of blue (therefore hot = young) stars on a black background; trees, ivy etc. won't help - perhaps he sees it though a silk stocking provided by his new lover? (Only kidding!).

Goodness! I only know a few obvious bits of Tennyson, though I do like what I know, and had never read this before -- amazing stuff. Regarding Peter's query about Pleiades and the braid -- could they appear like that because he is looking through the ivy on his window? Or because they appear behind the trees ('the mellow shade')?

That bit about the Pleiades always puzzled me. I agree it might look like a swarm of fireflies (not that I have ever seen one), but why tangled up in braid? It's not near the Milky Way so I suspect that is a bit of poetic licence to get a rhyme with the line before. Now if he had been talking about the double cluster in Perseus I would have said he was on to something.

Dark Puss

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  • Nothing is of greater consolation to the author of a novel than the disovery of readings he had not conceived but which are then prompted by his readers. (Umberto Eco, Reflections on The Name of the Rose)
  • ... relatively few persons in London ... can afford the luxury of one or more servants. No fewer than 3,700,000 have no servants at all, and of the half million that have servants 227,000 have only one. (The Times, 6 June 1895)
  • Standing among savage scenery, the hotel offers stupendous revelations. There is a French widow in every bedroom, affording delightful prospects. (Tyrolean inn brochure, according to Gerard Hoffnung)
  • (A doctor is at an elderly relative's deathbed) "The old sawbones, eh?" he bellowed ... "Just in the nick, perhaps. Haul the old girl back by the short hairs, if you ask me. Devilish smart at his work ... Always take a fence with more confidence when I know he's out with us."
  • Too often, when a man of Monty Godkin's mental powers is plunged in thought, nothing happens at all. The machinery just whirs for a while, and that is the end of it. (P G Wodehouse, Heavy Weather)
  • ...the breed that take their pleasures as Saint Laurence took his grid (Kipling, The Five nations)

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