Apr-12-2010

I just love to use the word ostensible

Like all great novels, Watership Down has both an ostensible subject and an real one. Ostensibly, the book is about a group of surprisingly rational rabbits. Man, however, is the rational animal, and Watership Down is a transplanted tale of the human spirit–a story of courage, resourcefulness, survival, and heroism.
Below is a section of the novel that I loved.
It is an untitled poem by Silverweed, a rabbit who lives in a very peculiar sort of warren. The rabbits there are all well-fed and comfortable; they have little to worry about in the way of predators, and food seems to miraculously appear wherever they look for it. Every so often, though, a rabbit vanishes without a trace… The warren has tacitly agreed never to discuss such matters. Silverweed was the poet of the Rabbits. He tests the boundaries of this silence in his poetry, which is what’s made him popular in the Warren. “Frith” is the sun, a God to the rabbits.
The wind is blowing, blowing over the grass.
It shakes the willow catkins; the leaves shine silver.
Where are you going, wind? Far, far away
Over the hills, over the edge of the world.
Take me with you, wind, high over the sky.
I will go with you, I will be rabbit-of-the-wind,
Into the sky, the feathery sky and the rabbit.
The stream is running, running over the gravel,
Through the brooklime, the kingcups, the blue and gold of spring.
Where are you going, stream? Far, far away
Beyond the heather, sliding away all night.
Take me with you, stream, away in the starlight.
I will go with you, I will be rabbit-of-the-stream,
Down through the water, the green water and the rabbit.
In autumn the leaves come blowing, yellow and brown.
They rustle in the ditches, they tug and hang on the hedge.
Where are you going, leaves? Far, far away
Into the earth we go, with the rain and the berries.
Take me, leaves, O take me on your dark journey.
I will go with you, I will be rabbit-of-the-leaves,
In the deep places of the earth, the earth and the rabbit.
Frith lies in the evening sky. The clouds are red about him.
I am here, Lord Frith, I am running through the long grass.
O take me with you, dropping behind the woods,
Far away, to the heart of light, the silence.
For I am ready to give you my breath, my life,
The shining circle of the sun, the sun and the rabbit.
Main Entry: os·ten·si·bly
Pronunciation: -blE
Function: adverb
Date: 1765
1 : in an ostensible manner
2 : to all outward appearances
Posted under gg
  1. GlaxiabaisA Said,

    I agree with everything you wrote. Great stuff.

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