In a previous post I suggested a conditional nuance to "Us he
devours" is possible: "Us he devours when (and if) we encounter him."
Sent from my iPod
On Mar 11, 2010, at 12:57 PM, George Carless <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Jerome Walsh ([log in to unmask]) wrote the following on Thu, Mar
> 11, 2010 at 08:21:49AM -0800:
>> Yes, Diana. "I am drinking" is progressive present tense. "I
>> drink" is simple present. "I do drink" is emphatic
>> present. Each of them can be used in contexts that modify the
>> temporal parameters of the action. "I drink coffee from
>> morning to night" (continuous, durative action). "I drink a cup of
>> coffee every morning when I get up" (puntual,
>> repeated action). But for punctual, non-repeated action in the
>> present, the progressive present ("I am drinking a cup
>> of coffee right now"). For simultaneous action, the progressive
>> past ("I was drinking a cup of coffee when you called")
>> can be replaced (Runyon-style) by the progressive present ("Guess
>> who arrives while I am drinking a cup of coffee!"). I
>> have no doubt there are other, even more nuanced uses of the
>> various tenses beyond those I've exemplified.
> Just a thought: does anybody else have the sense that in Gerontion,
> "us he devours" is actually something that has yet to
> happen? i.e., tense notwithstanding, Gerontion is looking ahead to
> the new year in which the "devouring" -- death? --
> Also, does anybody have any thoughts about the "thousand small
> deliberations" section? I find in it a certain small
> action on Gerontion's part: it's as though he is saying "it is by
> deliberating all of these things that I act, that I
> prolong my existence"... but then he goes on to essentially negate
> that by saying that, after all, he - like the spider,
> like the weevil - could not do otherwise.
> Thoughts of a dry brain...