Go No More A Roving

Leonard Cohen's recent albums - share your views with others!
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Achilles
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Postby Achilles » Wed Mar 09, 2005 11:34 pm

I'm wondering about that interpretation~the genitalia one. The line~ "the sword outwears the sheath"~ so are you saying Byron is writing that the penis is outwearing the vagina? I don't think this line is about male genitalia wearing out female genitalia.

Here is what I found.

1] Included in a letter written from Venice to Thomas Moore on February 28, 1817, and first published by Moore in Letters and Journals of Lord Byron (1830). In the letter, the poem is preceded by an account of its Lenten occasion. "At present, I am on the invalid regimen myself. The Carnival--that is, the latter part of it, and sitting up late o' nights--had knocked me up a little. But it is over--and it is now Lent, with all its abstinence and sacred music.... Though I did not dissipate much upon the whole, yet I find "the sword wearing out the scabbard," though I have but just turned the corner of twenty nine." The poem seems to have been suggested in part by the refrain of a Scottish song known as The Jolly Beggar.
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lightning
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Postby lightning » Thu Mar 10, 2005 3:25 am

Men are more physically able to perform sexually into old age than women who are limited by the changes lack of estrogen produces. Ask any woman over 50.
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Achilles
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Postby Achilles » Sat Mar 12, 2005 5:48 am

That's debateable. But my point was that the genitalia interpretation of the line ~ "the soul outwears the sheath" ~ does not make sense at all in context of the poem. Byron is referring to himself in this poem as his letter to Moore shows. That line doesn't refer to a woman's vagina. It's about Byron himself.
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linda_lakeside
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Postby linda_lakeside » Sat Mar 12, 2005 7:04 am

Achilles,

I probably shouldn't even post this without looking at the liner notes for DH, but having dragged it out recently, it is buried somewhere and I've temporarily misplaced it in the mess on my desk.

So, where do we see the soul outwears the sheath? I thought it was the sword outwears the sheath.

Soul or sword, I don't think anything is wearing out the vagina, over 50 or not.

Linda.

I know I shouldn't have posted this.
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linda_lakeside
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Postby linda_lakeside » Sat Mar 12, 2005 7:13 am

Hi, I'm back,

Hard to believe one can lose a CD on top of a desk.

OK, I found the liner. It seems the 'sword' outwears the sheath. And the 'soul' outwears the 'breast'. And the heart must pause to breathe/And love itself have rest.

Over to you,
Linda.
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Jonnie Falafel
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Postby Jonnie Falafel » Sat Mar 12, 2005 1:10 pm

Indeed it is the sword that outwears the sheath and the soul that outwears the breast. The sword is a metaphor for the phallus and the similie as a whole is just a poetic way of saying that the spirit outwears the flesh ... we've all been there haven't we? You know we feel seventeen on the inside but can no longer run marathons? The spirit is willing & the flesh is weak. Aging. But also hope "for who knows in that sleep of death what dreams may come when we have shuffled of this mortal coil". Be nice if the soul did outwear the breast but better not take any chances and live life to the full, just in case you only got the one!
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linda_lakeside
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Postby linda_lakeside » Sat Mar 12, 2005 4:59 pm

Thank you Jonnie,

You put that so well, I am truly sorry that you were beheaded for your efforts. It's the times, you know.

Regards,
Linda.
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Achilles
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Postby Achilles » Sat Mar 12, 2005 6:19 pm

Ok. Sorry. My mistake. I quoted it right in my first post though. :wink:

My argument still stands. The word sheath in this context does not mean vagina. Jonnie is right about the metaphor. The "sword outwears it's sheath" in the same way the "soul outwears the breast". It's Byron's spirit and Byron's flesh in view here~not a penis and a vagina.
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linda_lakeside
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Postby linda_lakeside » Sat Mar 12, 2005 7:11 pm

Ta, da! Mystery solved.

Later,
Linda.
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tom.d.stiller
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Postby tom.d.stiller » Thu Mar 17, 2005 10:45 am

I agree, Achilles. The sword inside the sheath, the soul (considered) inside the breast. The inner self is still strong, but the outward appearance is frail. The mind is willing, but the flesh...

But... still the metaphor "sword - sheath" adds another shade to the rich meaning of Byron's poem. And our well-known Ladies' Man won't have been unaware of this partcular shade.

One aspect of the frailty is about
a penis and a vagina
Cheers
tom
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lightning
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Postby lightning » Thu Mar 17, 2005 5:09 pm

Also note that it's " 'we'll go no more a rovin", not "I'll go no more a rovin'". Is this the corporate "we" or is there another person, say, a lady friend, and could "go a rovin'" mean something besides what we call cruising ? Could it be some kind of Victorian euphemism for "amour" itself?
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tom.d.stiller
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Postby tom.d.stiller » Fri Mar 18, 2005 9:05 am

I believe that Byron used "we" because he meant to talk about the conditio humana as a whole. "We" is "all of us", including - in particular - the author and the reader.
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lightning
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Postby lightning » Fri Mar 18, 2005 4:49 pm

But is it true that all of us will go no more a roving? Even the young people? How could that be?
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tom.d.stiller
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Postby tom.d.stiller » Fri Mar 18, 2005 4:52 pm

lightning wrote:But is it true that all of us will go no more a roving? Even the young people? How could that be?
"We'll" might be future... ;)
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icecreamtruck
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Postby icecreamtruck » Tue Mar 22, 2005 8:49 am

I look at it as a song about the passing of a participant in the journey...

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