Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: stormy ones
The Fée Verte Absinthe Forum - The Oldest, Largest, Most Authoritative Absinthe Forum. > Absinthe & Absinthiana > The Absinthe Library
I'm translating Robert Buchanan's poem The Stormy Ones. Not being too familiar with English idiom, there's a part that puzzles me. I had no idea where to ask for some ideas, I thought to inquire your cultured absinthe community.. there is a mention of absinthe in the poem anyway. sp_ike.gif

Are you familiar with Lord Byron's Don Juan? There is a reference. I have a sense that there are more than one meanings here in a sense of a word play, but it doesn't seem to make sense to me:

Byron swears as he grasps the tiller,
Haidee sobs as she bites her bun

If there are references to a body part, why is Haidee sobbing? Hell, why is she biting her bun?
I think it means literally, bun (bread). Bun as a euphemism for buttocks is an American invention, and Buchanan was not American. Why she's eating a bun, or sobbing, I don't know. There are a number of paintings of Haidee, maybe there's a bun in one of them.
I agree. I don't think there's more to read into it. It probably appears just to set up the rhyme with "fun".

If he had chosen to have her gnaw on hard tack, which might have been contextually more appropriate, then Joaquin in the ensuing line would have had to exclaim the symbol "Wack!" which probably wasn't widely understood at the time.
And a man in the back said everyone attack
and it turned into a ballroom blitz
Ballroom Blitz

Reaching out for something
touching nothing's all I ever do
QUOTE(Artemis @ Feb 12 2014, 07:54 AM) *
I think it means literally, bun (bread).

Likely true. Don Juan contains several references to Haidee making breakfast. For example:
He had a bed of furs, and a pelisse,
For Haidee stripped her sables off to make
His couch; and, that he might be more at ease,
And warm, in case by chance he should awake,
They also gave a petticoat apiece,
She and her maid—and promised by daybreak
To pay him a fresh visit, with a dish
For breakfast, of eggs, coffee, bread, and fish.

And Zoe, when the eggs were ready, and
The coffee made, would fain have waken'd Juan;
But Haidee stopp'd her with her quick small hand,
And without word, a sign her finger drew on
Her lip, which Zoe needs must understand;
And, the first breakfast spoilt, prepared a new one,
Because her mistress would not let her break
That sleep which seem'd as it would ne'er awake.

Food is also prominent in other ways in Don Juan. For example:
The Count Strongstroganoff I put in pain,
And Lord Mount Coffeehouse, the Irish peer,
Who kill'd himself for love (with wine) last year.

Well —Juan, after bathing in the sea,
Came always back to coffee and Haidee.

Although there are many travel references in Don Juan ("She had resolved that he should travel through All European climes, by land or sea, To mend his former morals, and get new, Especially in France and Italy") I would guess that the Byron grasping the tiller refers to Byron's travel to Greece.
I did try to read through some parts of Don Juan that mention Haidee but couldn't make sense of the poem anyway. There were even some mentions of cannibalism which confused me even more. Well, seems like my twisted mind attempted to read more to the poem than there is. Thanks for your opinions.

I would guess that the Byron grasping the tiller refers to Byron's travel to Greece.

Interesting. Why is this?
Probably because going to Greece was an ill-fated decision for him. He got involved in a fight that wasn't his (although apparently he thought it was) and died there while still a young man.
Buchanan seems to have had a sardonic sense of humor.
He was a frequent contributor to periodicals, and obtained notoriety as a result of an article which, under the nom de plume of Thomas Maitland, he contributed to The Contemporary Review for October 1871

Apparently the article attacked some other poets of the time and pissed them off a little.
Joaquin the "little stowaway" was a real person, it seems:
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Invision Power Board © 2001-2018 Invision Power Services, Inc.