Hi, Can anyone tell me what these lines mean in Auden's As I walked out one evening?
"You shall love your crooked neighbour
With your crooked heart."
A xtian theme: recognise yr own imperfection as well as your neighbour's and try to love regardless.
xtian - Christian? A new one for me, the etymology being from x-mas, no doubt.
From the Greek, Chi Rho, (I don't know how to print that in the greek alphabet here) I assume.
And perhaps a little reminder of this Mother Goose verse:
There was a crooked man, and he walked a crocked mile.
He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile.
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse.
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.
Nice catch on the 'crooked/bent'!
I always thought the X symbol for Christ was symbolic of the cross, and the O for God because God encompasses everything, as does a circle. Ancient symbolism, yes, but the basis is very simple.
Or maybe God is really fond of tic-tac-toe.
"I always thought the X symbol for Christ was symbolic of the cross, and the O for God because God encompasses everything, as does a circle. Ancient symbolism, yes, but the basis is very simple."
There's a passage near the end of Foucault's Pendulum where, after the narrator has been involved in decoding symbols and very elaborate systems of hidden messages, his girlfriend sits him down and says: No, silly -- these symbols are very simple and very basic, and they are based on universal human experiene. I don't know if that passage is worth reading the whole book, but HAVING read the whole book I found that passage had made it worthwhile.
Anyway, yes -- the symbols that really CLICK with people, even people who find them in a poem without knowing their history, are the ones that latch onto something fundamental. Like coming out of water = birth. It WORKS, and it worked long before anyone codified it.
Oh, no... I'm off another lecture. I'll stop. Almost immediately.
Chi Rho (XP) are the initial letters of the word Christ in the greek alphabet. The fish as a Christian code or secret sign is because the Greek for fish is ICHTHUS, Iesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour. I've got the Greek words in front of me, but they're no use to you if I can't type in Greek.
Calling Chrysanthemums Xanths is the same thing.
This is quite interesting; I always thought 'xo' stood for extremely old.
I wonder whether other religions have similar symbols - I know Hinduism has the Om and the Swastik (quite apart from the nazi connotations) - but these are symbols for new beginnings and for propsperity and not for God as such.
Ramya wrote: "I always thought 'xo' stood for extremely old."
IT VERY WELL MAY -- nobody owns abbreviations and it can be used by anyone as a code or by any two or more people who agree on what it means.
If the subject is brandy, the letters V.S.O. and P. stand for Very Special Old and Pale.
At somebody's house, X and O might stand for Xavier and Ophelia.
I hear that if you see "V.O." on a truck, it stands for van ordinaire.
V.S.O.P. could mean Very Superior Old Poet