Sep. 3rd, 2016

ext_51796: (cat_revolving)
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Time interrupted
The earth danced beneath my feet
Yet my heart stood still
Be content, the times lament
The world turned upside down


This morning, an earthquake of 5.6 on the Richter scale hit Pawnee, OK. It was felt throughout seven states, and quite strongly here, shaking our house for about a minute. It was my first earthquake and I wasn't sure what to think about it (neither was my cat, Ryoko, who was sitting nearby!).

Link to the previous verse: one moment, much like another--my heart stood still

"Be content, the times lament" and "the world turned upside down" are from the 17th century song The World Turned Upside Down, which refers to the banning of certain Christmas traditions during the English Civil War.

And yes, this is the song Lin Manuel-Miranda refers to in the song "Yorktown" from Hamilton the Musical, and I'll be truthful, I would not have known about the other without his reference.

The phrase "the World Turned Upside Down" actually dates back to the Book of Acts 17:6, King James Version.

I especially liked the "Be content, the times lament" which speak as clearly now as when the words were written in 1646. It was a common for Japanese poems to refer to entire phrases from ancient tanka, knowing that the meaning would be understood. The practice was called makurakatoba. It was understood that cultured people would catch the earlier reference. Sometimes these makurakatoba could be quite opaque.


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Akikawa Nikki

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