the stars make the poor world-fret of no account

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Canadian English eh?
Do these sentences mean the same?

"Wheeling to their stations in the sky, the stars make the poor world-fret of no account."


"Wheeling to their stations in the sky, the stars make the world forget about its wretchedness."

Of what context is the "of no account" used in the first sentence?
"of nothingess" (as in Buddhist nothingness)
"of no importance" (belittling the fact that the world is a wretched place)

Lastly, how would you rewrite the first sentence?

Thanks in advance!
  • LV4-26

    Senior Member
    Hi, lilfrenzy

    I changed the title of your thread so that it complies with rule #4
    Put the word or phrase in the title when asking a question.
    (Avoid "translation please", "how do I say this", "does this word exist", "I'm new" and similar expressions.)


    Senior Member
    English - England
    I think that 'of no account' means that the world counts for nothing, i.e. it seems unimportant.

    I am not sure what sense of the word 'fret' is meant here. I wonder if the world is compared with an 'ornamental interlaced work; a net; an ornament (esp. for the hair) consisting of jewels or flowers in a network' (meaning 1 of fret (noun 1) in the OED).


    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Hi lilfrenzy
    I love that book - The Land of Little Rain.

    I think the dash may be a clue.
    At first the dash connecting world-fret is confusing but I think it is a compound that creates a new idea.
    To fret is to worry, to brood over something.
    I think "world-fret" is "worldly worries" or "the worries of the world." A thing "of no account" is a thing of no real importance.

    Wheeling to their stations in the sky, the stars make the poor world-fret of no account.
    The stars wheeling to their stations in the sky give you a new perspective on what is truly important.

    And the line that follows repeats the idea that being in the desert under the stars gives you another perspective on what is large or important:

    Of no account you who lie out there watching, nor the lean coyote that stands off in the scrub from you and howls and howls.
    I hope this makes sense -
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