Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    4
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default would u help me understanding this poem

    im having trouble understanding this poem
    its a poem for Sir Thomas Wyatt called "the galley"

    My galley, chargèd with forgetfulness,
    Thorough sharp seas in winter nights doth pass
    'Tween rock and rock; and eke mine en'my, alas,
    That is my lord, steereth with cruelness;
    And every owre a thought in readiness,
    As though that death were light in such a case.
    An endless wind doth tear the sail apace
    Of forced sighs and trusty fearfulness.
    A rain of tears, a cloud of dark disdain,
    Hath done the weared cords great hinderance;
    Wreathèd with error and eke with ignorance.
    The stars be hid that led me to this pain;
    Drownèd is Reason that should me comfort,
    And I remain despairing of the port.

  2. #2
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    2,585
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: would u help me understanding this poem

    Hello Lola, welcome to Using English!

    First of all, are there any words you don't understand?

    MrP

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    671
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: would u help me understanding this poem

    Quote Originally Posted by lola we bass View Post
    im having trouble understanding this poem
    its a poem for Sir Thomas Wyatt called "the galley"

    My galley, chargèd with forgetfulness,
    Thorough sharp seas in winter nights doth pass
    'Tween rock and rock; and eke mine en'my, alas,
    That is my lord, steereth with cruelness;
    And every owre a thought in readiness,
    As though that death were light in such a case.
    An endless wind doth tear the sail apace
    Of forced sighs and trusty fearfulness.
    A rain of tears, a cloud of dark disdain,
    Hath done the weared cords great hinderance;
    Wreathèd with error and eke with ignorance.
    The stars be hid that led me to this pain;
    Drownèd is Reason that should me comfort,
    And I remain despairing of the port.
    This is Middle English, as evidenced by the accents, which are no longer pronounced in Modern English.

    Some thoughts, which may help:

    1) A 'galley' ship is rowed by oarsmen (owres), but in this case has also a sail.
    2) The word 'eke' here is used in the now archaic sense of 'also'.
    3) 'Thorough' in Middle English is now 'through'.

    This would be my prose translation:

    My ship, ordered to forget its woes, passes now from rock to rock through restless seas in winter nights; and yet my Lord, my enemy, still cruelly steers us; and every oarsman readily anticipates the worst, as though their death would be a blessing in comparison to this.

    An endless wind on the sail forces the ship onwards, backed by forced sighs (from the rowers) and trust borne of fear. Many tears (from the men), and much disdain (from the Captain), have done great damage to the worn-out sails; they are surrounded (metaphorically) by navigational error and ignorance.

    The stars (metaphorically, the fate) which brought the writer here to this misery are now clouded. The tempestuous waters have 'drowned' his faith in reason, and now he despairs of ever reaching a port.
    Last edited by Coffa; 17-Oct-2006 at 23:23.

  4. #4
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    2,585
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: would u help me understanding this poem

    Thank you, Coffa!

    Some additional thoughts:

    I would myself tentatively suggest "with a cargo of forgetfulness" for "charged with forgetfulness"; the speaker is forgetful of everything except the woman in question. The "enemy" is perhaps Eros. The "stars" I would take for the woman's eyes; and "Reason" as the helmsman, who has seemingly gone overboard. I would probably take the bad weather generally as an expression of the woman's displeasure.

    All the best,

    MrP

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    671
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: would u help me understanding this poem

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic View Post
    Thank you, Coffa!
    Some additional thoughts:
    I would myself tentatively suggest "with a cargo of forgetfulness" for "charged with forgetfulness"; the speaker is forgetful of everything except the woman in question. The "enemy" is perhaps Eros. The "stars" I would take for the woman's eyes; and "Reason" as the helmsman, who has seemingly gone overboard. I would probably take the bad weather generally as an expression of the woman's displeasure.
    All the best,
    MrP
    You're right, of course. I did a literal translation, not realising that the whole poem is a metaphor for a passionate relationship.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    4
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: would u help me understanding this poem

    thank u cofa for help , but don't u think he was talking about his beloved who had forgetten him
    i think that the "Gally " refers to his life which is ful of forgefulness from his beloved
    And the"enemy" is his beloved who had totally forgetten him and lift him in pain

    thank you Cofa for your help and i hope u discuss my opinoin wiht me

Similar Threads

  1. Poem by Emily Dickinson
    By hana in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 14-Dec-2006, 02:58
  2. How should we pronounce this word in this poem?
    By Sstupid in forum Pronunciation and Phonetics
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 14-Apr-2005, 04:02

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •