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    Jiayun is offline Member
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    Default I would rather be ashes than dust

    I would rather be ashes than dust,
    I would rather my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze,
    Than it should be stifled in dry rot.

    What does "it" refer to and what is the meaning of rot in the above last sentence?

  2. #2
    Jiayun is offline Member
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    Default Re: I would rather be ashes than dust

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    "it" refers to "my spark". Dry rot mostly occurs in wood. After a long time the wood will decompose and turn into dust. This writer is saying that he would rather burn out quickly in a blaze, rather than to slowly rot away.
    Thanks for your help!

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    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: I would rather be ashes than dust

    And spark, here, is a metaphor for life.

    Cf. the saying,

    "I'd rather wear out than rust out."

    and,

    Dylan Thomas:

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
    Because their words had forked no lightning they
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
    Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
    And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
    Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    And you, my father, there on the sad height,
    Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
    Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.



    which reminds me somewhat of

    Funeral Blues
    W. H. Auden

    (This poem was made popular by its reading in the movie "Four Weddings and a Funeral.")

    Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
    Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
    Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
    Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

    Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
    Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead.
    Put crepe bows round the white necks of public doves,
    Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

    He was my North, my South, my East and West.
    My working week and my Sunday rest,
    My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
    I thought that love would last forever; I was wrong.

    The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
    Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
    Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
    For nothing now can ever come to any good.

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