View Full Version : any thoughts?

01-03-2010, 05:39 PM
After I solved this puzzle I got to thinking (which is a little distressing to me, since I usually average only 3 or 4 thoughts in the calendar year and I used up one so soon):p

"On life's vast ocean diversely we sail. Reasons the card, but passion the gale. " Alexander Pope

At first I thought there should be an apostrophe in "Reason", as in "Reason is".

When I googled it, there were several versions.

"...Reason is the card."

"...Reason's the card."

"...but passion is gale..."

any thoughts on which is correct? Grammatically I guess a few of them could be correct, but I'm wondering what Alexander was saying exactly.

Just in case, in answer to your next question..."No, I don't "have anything better to do" :p

01-04-2010, 02:20 AM
Frankly, I'm so fed up with Pope, I just solve the cryptos and move on.

Poetry is only worthwhile if someone...anyone...gets it.

01-04-2010, 06:53 PM
we are a bunch of diverse, intellegent nerds, aren't we?!

thank you both for your responses!

JC, that was clear, concise, informative, and helpful.

Lurker, ditto.


01-05-2010, 12:37 PM
Wow! JC is really well informed isn't he?
I am new to this site but I find most of the quotes relevant,useful to modern day living.

01-07-2010, 12:17 AM
When I saw this I said, I think it means a compass card -- the card in which a compass is mounted with arrows showing the 32 directions. Pope is using it as a figure of speech (metonymy? I never can keep those terms straight) for "compass." "Reason is the compass."

I looked at the Oxford English Dictionary and they agree with me. They give the Pope quotation as an example of this usage. It's the fourth sense of the second noun "card."

But they acknowledge that "card" also means "map" and that it may not be clear which is meant. So JCC could be correct.

01-07-2010, 02:03 AM
"Here, again, we see Pope refer to the analogy of the sailing ship on the sea finding its way only with compass (card) for direction and the wind in the sails to drive the vessel along."

This is from a prefix written by the most noted of the editors of his works, Dr. Samuel Johnson.