sheets of cane

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gil12345

Senior Member
chinese
Hi,

One sentence from National Geographic (Dec., 2013)

"'The company moved us off our land,' she tells us, waving her arm at the sheets of cane."

Does "sheets of cane" refer to the leaves of cane that cover the field?

Gil
 
  • se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I think it is referring to the extensive fields of sugar(?) cane. See this definition of sheet from the OED:

    8. A broad expanse or stretch of something lying out flat, presenting a white or glistening surface, or forming a relatively thin covering or layer.
    ...
    c. of vegetation, flowers.
    1793 R. Burns Poems (ed. 2) II. 177 Now Nature..spreads her sheets o' daisies white Out o'er the grassy lea.
    1857 N. Hawthorne Passages from Eng. Note-bks. (1870) II. 316 Broad sheets of ivy here and there mantle the headlong rock.
    1859 Tennyson Guinevere 387 in Idylls of King Sheets of hyacinth That seem'd the heavens upbreaking thro' the earth.
     

    gil12345

    Senior Member
    chinese
    I think it is referring to the extensive fields of sugar(?) cane. See this definition of sheet from the OED:

    8. A broad expanse or stretch of something lying out flat, presenting a white or glistening surface, or forming a relatively thin covering or layer.
    ...
    c. of vegetation, flowers.
    1793 R. Burns Poems (ed. 2) II. 177 Now Nature..spreads her sheets o' daisies white Out o'er the grassy lea.
    1857 N. Hawthorne Passages from Eng. Note-bks. (1870) II. 316 Broad sheets of ivy here and there mantle the headlong rock.
    1859 Tennyson Guinevere 387 in Idylls of King Sheets of hyacinth That seem'd the heavens upbreaking thro' the earth.
    Very impressive. I didn't get the meaning. Thank you
     

    JustKate

    Senior Member
    Despite OED, I have to say that I find this use of sheets a bit odd. I understood it in context, but I wouldn't use it this way. For me, a sheet is something thin, and it's hard for me to imagine a covering of sugar cane plants that would be considered "thin." So I'm not surprised you found it confusing, gil12345.
     
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