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Thread: Fly by?

  1. #1
    NewHope is offline Senior Member
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    Fly by?

    I think "by" is redundant in "Birds fly hurriedly by back to roost". Am I on the right track? Or else, what does it mean there?


    Context:

    Pu Sa Man
    by Li Bai
    A flat-top forest stretches far in embroidered mist;
    A cluster of mountains cool is tinged with heartbreak blue.
    The mansion in creeping dusk is clad,
    Someone up there is sad.
    On marble steps I stand forlorn.
    Birds fly hurriedly by back to roost.
    Where, pray, is the way home?
    Along a string of wayside pavilions I roam.

  2. #2
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    Re: Fly by?

    [QUOTE=NewHope]I think "by" is redundant in "Birds fly hurriedly by back to roost". Am I on the right track? Or else, what does it mean there?


    On marble steps I stand forlorn.
    Birds fly hurriedly by back to roost.


    The word by functions as a point of reference. In your poem the point of reference is marble steps with the person standing on them. The birds flew by a certain target...the narrator observes them flying by.

    I don't know who wrote the poem, NH but I would rather say The birds flew by hurriedly back to roost. Sounds better.

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