For the note is not of the world

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Ahmed Samir Darwish

Senior Member
In "The Song of Flying Fish" by G. K. Chesterton, the author was describing a song which someone saw in his dreams, saying:

Over the land and over the sea

My flying fishes will come to me,

For the note is not of the world that wakes them,

But in — —

What's meant here by "For the note is not of the world that wakes them"?
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  • heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I'm not sure what 'the note' refers to, (maybe they were singing?), but 'the world that wakes them' is, I think, just a poetical way of saying 'the world they live in/inhabit'.

    Don't forget that a) this came in a dream, and b) it's poetry and so doesn't need to make literal sense.

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    I cannot tell what is meant by "wakes"; I doubt it refers to a literal awakening from sleep. However, a sound ("note") is involved, such as would wake a person, but the sound is "not of this world". This might mean that it is too beautiful to be thought of as an earthly noise, or it could mean that it is nothing to do with the world at all; they are woken by divine inspiration or a cosmic ray, or something along those lines.

    "For" means because: Because the note that wakes them is not of this world.
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