Tuesday, April 27, 2021

From Memory

Red sky at morning,
Sailor take warning;
Red sky at night,
Sailor's delight.

Is this right?

I mean: Is the wording correct, and is the meaning true?


At 11:41 AM, Blogger Kevin Kim said...

I've heard the proverb before, but with the "delight" part coming first. That makes more rhetorical sense to me: the second half of any utterance tends to be the more impactful, significant part, so putting the warning at the end strikes me as sensible if your purpose is a cautionary one.

Red sky at night: sailors' delight.
Red sky in morning: sailors take warning.

A quick Google search reveals the different ways in which the second part is worded: "red sky at morning," "red sky in morning," "red sky in the morning," etc. Also: Scientific American weighs in on the validity of the proverb.

And as you know, the word shepherd often stands in for sailor.

At 3:00 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I don't think I've heard the shepherd version, and how odd that I know only the sequence "warning," then "delight." Or maybe I've just forgotten these things.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 3:11 AM, Blogger Carter Kaplan said...

Hesiod's version (sort of):

And if longing seizes you for sailing the stormy seas,
when the Pleiades flee mighty Orion
and plunge into the misty deep
and all the gusty winds are raging,
then do not keep your ship on the wine-dark sea
but, as I bid you, remember to work the land.

At 7:41 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

When it's hard to plow the seas . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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