Peter, yes, but just about everything occasions fear in the poem. Too much water, too little water, dust, rock, fire, women, a one-eyed merchant, the urban environment, London's air, and on and on. Few things besides hyacinths, fishermen, and churches are not fearsome. When symbolism overlaps to this extent, it becomes redundant and turgid. Diana
Perhaps one might connect it with other presences of fear
in the poem, such as fear in a handful of dust (dust to dust and all that),
where there would seem to be a total asence of water.
Most animaals have an instinct of survival, do they not?
Is it therefore not natural to fear occasions of death presented by water.
There is also the reverse emotiion at the end with the "awful daring
of a moments surrender", and "my friend, blood shaking my heart",
the boat responds easily (gaily?) &c.
There would seem to be a resonating dialect.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Rickard A. Parker" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, August 03, 2007 4:38 PM
Subject: Fearing death by water
> Somewhere in this long thread I believe you asked something like "Why
> fear death by water?" I've come up with something that may serve as
> an answer but I can't say I'm really happy about it: The Fisher
> King's lands are sterile and if water came and brought relief to the
> lands (and maybe the Fisher King) then the Fisher King would be
> revived physically by the water but he would miss his spiritual
> healing and would not truly be reborn.
> I'm dissatified with this answer, not because it is such a bad or
> forced thought, as with the belief that it doesn't seem to fit in the
> Sosostris section well without enough other support for the idea by
> Rick Parker
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