Guns and Poetry

| January 31, 2013

Editor:  

Some recent NCJ articles have re-ignited two of my favorite pet peeves.

1)  Barry Evans on "Homers Wine-Dark Sea": Aside from the etymology of "op," why has this epithet traditionally been translated as "wine-dark" rather than
"wine-colored" or "wine-looking"? "Wine-dark" seems like a wonderful
metaphor for describing the degree of opacity one "sees" in sea water (opacity or "darkness" is not a color). I think that poetic expressions are often less opaque (or more translucent) than scholarly scientific reductionism in the areas of physics or physiology. Sounds better too!

2)  "Recoil" (Jan. 24) Where in the Second Amendment is there any mention of guns or firearms?  People talk as if this were the only issue; even though it
was customary to "keep and bear" arms such as swords, daggers, (and
even tomahawks!) in public during the course of one's daily life in
18th century America.  Have we forgotten the events in Rwanda in 1994, in which the greater part of at least 500,000 people (presumably including children) were chopped into pieces with machetes or clubbed to death?  And while TSA considers a nail file to be a weapon, and the Pentagon defines public protests as "terrorism," and "iatrogenic events" kill at least 100,000 people a year in the U.S., we distract ourselves by talking about "assault weapons." I do agree with Marcy Burstiner when she says most of us are mentally disturbed.

Nicholas Marlowe, Arcata

Comments (1)

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It's called poetic license. Poets can make up words and phrases as it suits them. Some words when used enough times they actually become acceptable. Poets are not generally burdened with rules of grammar and language usage as other writers, of course excluding journalist as well. Yes many of us are mentally disturbed, especially poets.

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Posted by Bill H. on 01/31/2013 at 10:22 AM
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