Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Mountain Ghosts . . . if they lose their footing

Do mountain goats ever lose their footing as they bound from crag to crag?

Goats, Goats

Goats are hell-bound insidious creatures,
and their eyes are demonic and dark.
Up a cliff-face they'll walk that features
an ease like a stroll in the park.

But they cannot fly long without wings,
just accelerated flight to the ground,
as each its own swan song it sings,
non plus plumes, plummets down to that sound.

Too bad goats have no feathers . . .


At 2:04 PM, Blogger Kevin Kim said...

A search for the exact phrase "non plus plumes" brings up only this blog post. The francophone part of my brain wants to read this as French, but in French, it doesn't make sense. "Non plus" means "neither," as in the phrase "moi non plus," i.e., "me, neither." I thought that, by typing in "non plus plumes," I would be led to a Latin phrase, but the search simply led me right back to this post. So I admit defeat: I don't understand the final line.

At 3:14 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Well, I may be cheating, but I appeal to poetic licence for this.

Take "non," "plus," and "plume" as meaning "not, "with," and "feather" in English (from, say, Latin), such that the expression means "not with feathers," in other words, wingless.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 5:51 PM, Blogger Kevin Kim said...

"Well! There it is."

At 8:28 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Oh, I see. Yes. Yes, I suppose I may have forced the annotator's hand. I may be requiring too many annotations. Too many notes. Too much expected of my readers - an interruption by an interpretation they must read in order to understand the text. Arguably, an artistic failure.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 8:42 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Perhaps a comma after "plumes" is also useful?

Jeffery Hodges

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