Tuesday, January 24, 2006

february's quiz

These are the first lines of 'The Fire Sermon' from that poem 'The
Waste Land' by T S Eliot.

"The river's tent is broken: the last fingers of leaf
Clutch and sink into the wet bank."

Can anybody explain what the word 'tent' is up to?


Caskared said...

I always thought it was something to do with the tension of the water - the leaves breaking the surface and all that. I never really questioned that line before, so maybe I took it all a bit too geographical and obvious...

BTW thank you for your Christmas card that arrived today! Easter meetup - gerai dobze! I think it's my turn to come to you. Let's get our diaries out through email.

Jon Baines said...

Our Swiss correspondent writes: "I was mystified enough at first to think that my answer, that the trees were formerly forming a tent over the river, was non-trivial enough to merit the moniker 'explanation'. But on reflection, it seems just a bit obvious and my former mystification the inexplicable thing."
That clears up the 'tent' for me - a matter that has been unclear, on and off (mostly off), for about a decade. Many thanks! I feel like a bit of a wally. (Further comments welcome, of course.)

Anonymous said...

Hi Jon
Maybe the tent is a carpet of leaves on the river in Autumn, and it is broken when they finally become water-logged & sink?
from a Hillside Fogey!