The hazel thicket was a lace-work, of half-open leaves, and the last dusty perpendicular of the catk

longxianchen

Senior Member
chinese
Hi,
Here are some words from the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover(the last paragraph,page 242, chapter 12) by Lawrence (planetebook,here):
Connie went to the wood directly after lunch. It was really a lovely day, the first dandelions making suns, the first daisies so white. The hazel thicket was a lace-work, of half-open leaves, and the last dusty perpendicular of the catkins. Yellow celandines now were in crowds, flat open, pressed back in urgency, and the yellow glitter of themselves.

The blue sentence is a little confusing for me. I feel: the lacework is made of half-open leaves and the last dusty perpendicular, that is, the hazel thicket contains the perpendicular. But what does the dusty perpendicular refers to please?
Thank you in advance
 
  • Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    It refers to the catkins. If there is a word in a sentence you don't know, you should always look it up before you try to understand the rest. Catkins are seed-pods which are dusty in appearance and which hang vertically. With this in mind the sentence is fairly straightforward in my opinion.
     

    Truffula

    Senior Member
    English - USA


    The picture shows half open leaves and catkins on a hazel branch - you can see that the branches are approximately perpendicular (at right angles) to the catkins.
     
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    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I think the point is that perpendicular here means vertical.

    Clearly the catkins, being pendulous as well as dusty, will be vertical.

    They will only be at right angles to branches which are horizontal.
     

    longxianchen

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Thanks for all the help
    It refers to the catkins. If there is a word in a sentence you don't know, you should always look it up before you try to understand the rest. Catkins are seed-pods which are dusty in appearance and which hang vertically. With this in mind the sentence is fairly straightforward in my opinion.
    I have looked it up but I found: perpendicular is likely to be a noun(meaning a line or plane perpendicular to a given line or plane) or an adjective(meaning vertical). And dusty has three meanings: gray, powdery or stale.

    So I just didn't know what are the accurate meanings of the two words. And I tend to feel the last dusty perpendicular means the latest gray vertical plane.
     
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    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I don't know what "the last grey vertical plane" could even mean.

    Lawrence is talking about the shapes or patterns these plants make. The hazel thicket was a lacework, and the catkins were perpendicular; they hung down in a perpendicular from the branches. "Dusty" because they are full of pollen. "Last" because the catkins are finishing and the leaves are coming out.

    "The perpendicular" - the definite article doesn't mean that Lawrence has suddenly started talking abstract geometry. He's seeing shapes: "the perpendicular (vertical line or form) of the last, dusty catkins".
     

    longxianchen

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Oh. I seem to understand it: The latest catkins of the hazel hang vertically with dust-like pollen.
    I don't know what "the last grey vertical plane" could even mean.
    I meant: the catkins look like a wall(a plane).
    Is it possible please?
     
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    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    I meant: the catkins look like a wall(a plane).
    Is it possible please?
    No, it isn't, because a wall is solid, and Lawrence is saying that the combination of horizontal branches and vertical (perpendicular) catkins that are not all in one single plane, and the open areas between them, makes the thicket seem as if it were made of lace.
     
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    Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    Did you have trouble seeing the photo which copyright attached?

    Last = the few remaining at the end of the flowering season
    Dusty = having the appearance of an object covered with dust
    Perpendicular = vertical

    Several of us have tried to explain this fairly simple description illustrated by a photograph - please stop using a dictionary and just tell us if there is something in our explanation you don't understand.
     

    longxianchen

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Did you have trouble seeing the photo which copyright attached?
    Yes, I have opened the picture by Truffla, not copyright.
    please stop using a dictionary and just tell us if there is something in our explanation you don't understand
    I feel I have basically understand your explanations. But the structure of the last dusty perpendicular in the last dusty perpendicular of the catkins seems to be like a nominal phase for me, which is similar to the poor, and the rich. But we were taught the poor and the rich refer to all the poor people or rich people. So I'm not clear whether the perpendicular refer to all the vertical stuff.
     

    bennymix

    Senior Member
    Yes, it's like 'the poor, e.g., He gave to the poor of the city. "She saw the dusty perpendicular items* (of) the catkins." The phrase is condensed, 'items' is not needed, and 'perpendicular' functions as a noun.

    *Note: Alternatively, "the perpendicular appearance"; this phrase condensed to "the perpendicular" with 'perpendicular' now used as a noun.

    Picture of a lacework of tree branches. (Just add buds and catkins.)

    https://nancyaruegg.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/bare_trees.jpg

    picture of catkins (perpendicular!) on a hazel tree

    Let's go hazel nuts: A hazel tree will give your garden a supply of tasty nuts - and a wonderful display of yellow catkins
     
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