Perhaps this is just a matter of perspective. I'll use
one of the more familiar examples of zeugma, from Pope's Rape of the
This Day, black Omens threat the brightest Fair
That e'er deserv'd a
watchful Spirit's Care;
Some dire Disaster, or by Force, or Slight,
what, or where, the Fates have wrapt in Night.
Whether the Nymph shall break
Or some frail China Jar receive a Flaw,
stain her Honour, or her new Brocade,
Forget her Pray'rs, or miss a
Or lose her Heart, or Necklace, at a Ball;
Or whether Heav'n
has doom'd that Shock must fall.
Pope uses zeugma in a couple places here, most obviously with "stain" in
the 7th line here, and "lose" in the 9th. Since zeugma uses more than one sense
of a word, it takes an active reader to realize it, just like with a
pun. The reader or listener's imagination must be actively "creative", not
relatively passive like it could be with most of the other lines here. The sense
is not straightforward -- so it requires an audience to untangle it, just as it
required Pope to tangle it in the first place.
I would suggest the same activity is necessary in
reading TWL. The following two lines are perfectly understandable on their own,
since they are both in English:
Shall I at least set my lands in order?
London Bridge is falling down falling down falling down
However, when the lines are put together, a new meaning is created, and the
reader must try to understand their connection. Hope this helps.
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William Gray wrote:
> According to
the descriptions I remember, I would classify TWL as a cool medium. Structure of
juxtaposition, like that of zeugma in the 18th century, requires audience
participation in order to function.
I know zeugma as a rhetorical structure (and cool
word). It is one
of a seeming infinity of juxtapositions. But I
don't know anything
about the 18th-century use that requires audience
participation. Tell all.