And this gray spirit yearning in desire to follow knowledge like a sinking star (Tennyson)

thédechine

Senior Member
Italiano
The quotation before all:

[…] and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
to follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.

Alfred Tennyson, Ulysses

The question:
The 'sinking star' is the 'gray spirit', isn't it?
I am asking because there is an Italian translation according to which the 'sinking star' is the 'knowledge'.
 
  • cando

    Senior Member
    English - British
    No the "sinking star" is "knowledge" which the "gray spirit yearning in desire" wants to follow, like a sailor navigating by the stars. Knowledge is elusive like a star that is sinking below the horizon.
     
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