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What does it mean "A Man Rides Through"???

 
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crazylikeafox
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:11 pm    Post subject: What does it mean "A Man Rides Through"??? Reply with quote

It might sound like a stupid question, but I really don't understand this title. There was no one in the novel that "rode through" anything. Is this a metaphorical title? Please, enlighten me Embarassed
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donaldson has pointed out several times that the two titles in the Mordant's Need duology come from a poem found in John Meyers Meyers Silverlock.

Steeped in the vacuum of her dreams,
A mirror's empty till
A man rides through it.


For example:

In the Gradual Interview, Stephen R Donaldson wrote:
There is, of course, a tradition of "mirrors" in fantasy and science fiction. I'm thinking of books like "Through the Looking Glass" and (memory, don't fail me now) Vonnegut's "Breakfast of Champions." (Gosh, I hope I got that reference right.) But in my own thinking, the ideas for "Mordant's Need" started with Myers' "Silverlock." I was stunned by the lines, "Steeped in the vacuum of her dreams/A mirror's empty till/A man rides through it." That reminded me of Vonnegut's book, which in turn reminded me of "Through the Looking Glass." Then all I had to do was follow the suggestions those other writers had left for me.

(04/19/2004)

I can't think of any time where someone has posted the entire poem.

From source to mouth there's but one ford --
And that cannot be crossed --
Where Ferdiad was gripped and gored;
His best friend won and lost
      The water's red from brink to brink,
      The Morrigan comes down to drink;
      And the river goes on south.

Right close in shore, to ward off cold,
An angler sucks a jug.
The water seals and gets its hold;
The angler feels and gives a tug.
      Above the ice he's having fits,
      Below the ice a long tail flits;
      For the river takes it south.

Steeped in the vacuum of her dreams,
A mirror's empty till
A man rides through it. Once she gleams
And once she moves, then she is still.
      The filament snaps in the light,
      But yet she is a lovely sight,
      As the river bears her south.

The gold a dragon could not keep
Came to a woman's hand;
Then thieving kinsmen, diving deep,
Found out a safe in sinking sand.
      Dying, they would not tell the place,
      Nor does the water yield a trace,
      As the river sweeps on south.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you very, very much !!!
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the Watch. Very Happy Hope you'll stick around.

Always saw that as describing it pretty well...her mirror was empty, (even of herself) and the Geraden arrived.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BTW, I just realized that "till" is a legitimate form of "until".

Until I posted that, I had thought it was a noun. A till is "a drawer, tray, or the like, as in a cabinet or chest, for keeping valuables". Hence, something that can be empty. Although it still made no sense to me. But as poems often don't, I just assumed it was me.

I admit that "A mirror is empty until a man rides through it" makes a hell of a lot more sense.

Also, after having looked at the entire poem, it looks like the "mirror" here is a reflection on a still river, a metaphoric mirror rather than a real one. Unless the river is itself metaphoric. Did I mention poems often don't make sense to me?
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:

Also, after having looked at the entire poem, it looks like the "mirror" here is a reflection on a still river, a metaphoric mirror rather than a real one. Unless the river is itself metaphoric. Did I mention poems often don't make sense to me?

Heh...this poem isn't easy even if you're good at poetry. there's other stuff...lots of other stuff. Like what each stanza is alluding too. I don't recall all of them, but the first refers to Cutchulain, however that's spelled.

The mirror one includes a real mirror because it refers to tennyson writing about the Lady of Shallot, who had to weave looking in a mirror...and the man riding through it was lancelot, I think...which then destroys her, btw, cuz she looks at him directly....though obviously the river mirror metaphor is there as well, though the mirror isn't the only thing the river stands for.
FWIW, [or by coincidence?] the last stanza is either referencing Wagner's "Ring," or to the same source material as "Ring."
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gah!

I just wikipediad "The Lady of Shallot". Another poem! More metaphors; more allusions to yet even earlier works. At least it has a river in it, and a mirror.

Who can figure this stuff out?!?!

However, having read Silverlock, I know that it itself is a story based on allusions to to dozens of earlier works. I would not be surprised if this There's But One Ford poem is an amalgam of several different stories, "The Lady of Shallot" being but one.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always read it as a contraction of "until." I never even noticed it was a double el. Read it as 'til and never noticed.

Never liked The Lady Of Shalott. Laughing

--A
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

till is a popular misspelling of (un)til. I actually thought for years that that is the proper spelling of it so I never had any problems reading Mordant's Need's song.

Shame on you Wayfriend for thinking of Terisa as a drawer for storing Geradns Laughing though thank you for posting the whole song.

Never read Silverlock. Reading the whole song put the quoted lines in a whole new context. Haven't connected them to Lady of Shallot either. Is the second stanza an allusion to another tale as well? Can't place it.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shadowbinding shoe wrote:
Is the second stanza an allusion to another tale as well? Can't place it.

Check out the web page about it. (Scroll down.)
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

shadowbinding shoe wrote:
till is a popular misspelling of (un)til.


Without checking, I'm pretty sure this is exactly backwards. Till is the original and older word, and still completely correct in most cases, though unfashionable.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vraith wrote:
shadowbinding shoe wrote:
till is a popular misspelling of (un)til.


Without checking, I'm pretty sure this is exactly backwards. Till is the original and older word, and still completely correct in most cases, though unfashionable.


Oh, yes. Sorry.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steeped in the vacuum of her dreams,
A mirror's empty till
A man rides through it.


To me, the title of the second book alludes to Geraden becoming a man, and realizing his full potential as an Imager. He transforms from a boy and a clumsy Apt into a man and an Adept Master Imager, and in doing so, he becomes the man Terisa needs to complete her. And of course, the same goes for Terisa, changing from a girl to a woman, realizing her own strength and powers, and completing Geraden.

For me, A Man Rides Through is sort of synonymous with "A Man Emerges"
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
I always read it as a contraction of "until." I never even noticed it was a double el. Read it as 'til and never noticed.

Never liked The Lady Of Shalott. Laughing

--A


Shocked B---but.... it's SIR Alfred Lord Tennyson!!!!!
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing Never been a big fan of his to be honest.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shuram Gudatetris wrote:
Steeped in the vacuum of her dreams,
A mirror's empty till
A man rides through it.


To me, the title of the second book alludes to Geraden becoming a man, and realizing his full potential as an Imager. He transforms from a boy and a clumsy Apt into a man and an Adept Master Imager, and in doing so, he becomes the man Terisa needs to complete her. And of course, the same goes for Terisa, changing from a girl to a woman, realizing her own strength and powers, and completing Geraden.

For me, A Man Rides Through is sort of synonymous with "A Man Emerges"


I like this interpretation the best.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought it was just referring to Geraden drilling Theresa. Y'all just ruined it for me.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Farm Ur-Ted wrote:
I thought it was just referring to Geraden drilling Theresa. Y'all just ruined it for me.


You can still keep thinking of the title's meaning that way if it makes you feel better. It's all just guesses, anyway. Wink
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