Hello to a Foreshortened Farewell

Lord Dunsany
“Poltarnees, Beholder of Ocean”
A Dreamer’s Tales

Poltarnees is a mountain and beyond that mountain is the sea.

[S]uddenly the west wind would bestir himself and come in from the Sea. And he would come cloaked and grey and mournful and carry to someone the hungry cry of the Sea calling out for bones of men. And he that heard it would move restlessly for some hours, and at last would rise suddenly, irresistibly up, setting his face to Poltarnees, and would say, as is the custom of those lands when men part briefly, “Till a man’s heart remembereth,” which means “Farewell for a while;” but those that loved him, seeing his eyes on Poltarnees, would answer sadly, “Till the gods forget,” which means “Farewell.”

I like how the parting greeting becomes freighted with meaning that codes an unspoken understanding. I came to Dunsany through Ursula Le Guin and I can see what charmed her in the simple being complex without sacrificing plain expression. The word “forever” hovers without being explicitly mentioned. Gives it all the more strength, rhetorical and imaginary.

And so for day 2974

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