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I am troubled noons by saving -me

Discussion in 'English Only' started by bloomcountry, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. bloomcountry Senior Member

    Malaga
    Russian, Spanish
    I am not sure about the meaning of this construction, thanks:

    "I? Would not save the world! How could that be?
    When I am troubled noons by saving -me.
    The best that I can do is run it rough
    And hope my mad example might touch you."

    ("Good Shakespeare's Son, , The Typing Ape", Ray Bradbury).
     
  2. I'm not sure, either. It looks like the ape typed it.

    Rover
     
  3. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    Maybe it's supposed to be a longer dash:

    ... When I am troubled noons by saving -- me.

    That way, there's a pause for rhetorical effect: The speaker begins: "How could I save the world, when I spend so much time trying to save..." "What? What is he trying to save? Oh golly this is exciting!", the reader things to herself. And then the speaker concludes: "... me." Wham!
     
  4. gramman

    gramman Senior Member

    I agree with lucas-sp. To expand on that:

    Noons has a poetic meaning: the highest, brightest, or most important part; culmination — from The Free Dictionary

    Run may be used here in the sense of: (transitive) to be subjected to, be affected by, or incur: to run a risk, run a temperature — #22 in the definitions listed an the WRF dictionary (like run it ragged)

    I'm guessing rough is used as: (of behaviour or character) rude, coarse, ill mannered, inconsiderate, or violent — #7 in the definitions listed in the WRF dictionary

    The person seems to be saying:

    I wouldn't try to save the world. I have a great deal of trouble just looking after myself. I can only have what may be a coarse effect on it and hope that my (mad or "strange") behaviour affects you in some positive way.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  5. gramman

    gramman Senior Member

    I may be wrong about run. There are 45 definitions :rolleyes: and I didn't see a better one off-hand! ☺
     
  6. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    Gramman, do you think "rough" might be a typo for "through"? The word ought to rhyme with "you," after all...
     
  7. theartichoke Senior Member

    English -- Canada
    I would guess that "when I am troubled noons" is also some kind of play on the more common idea of being "troubled [in the] nights." People are more likely to lie awake worrying about things than they are to worry about them at midday. If you're troubled at noon, you've really got problems.
     
  8. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    There's also "the noonday devil" of ennui, which apparently used to strike all the monks in the early afternoon. So there's some precedent for crises of faith set at lunchtime.
     
  9. theartichoke Senior Member

    English -- Canada
    Good to know. I exorcise that particular devil with a nice espresso.:D
     
  10. gramman

    gramman Senior Member

    >>"rough" might be a typo for "through"

    Could well be — you can see I don't much know my way around poems. :eek:

    >>monks in the early afternoon

    Yeah, a lot of those "early to bed, early to rise" types may run out of gas well before sundown. And I expect they're unlikely to load up on a shot of caffeine. ☺ My power naps usually come after dinner — just another part of an exciting lifestyle. :rolleyes:

    +++++

    More embarrassment: I got confused about the meaning of ennui, though it was pretty clear from your post. I'm too busy causing trouble (noon and night) to become bored or disinterested.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013

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