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Pete Atkin >> Words >> Turtle dreaming
(Message started by: Ian Chippett on Today at 23:11)

Title: Turtle dreaming
Post by Ian Chippett on Today at 23:11
I'm sure this must have come up for discussion before but I can't remember why a car should be like a turtle dreaming? Is this another obscure literary reference I missed? Not that it would have to be all that obscure...

Ian C

Title: Re: Turtle dreaming
Post by Ben Coulson on 29.01.08 at 04:15
I'm sure I remember (in the days when MV was an e-mail group) that someone found the following (from a poem):

The turtle dreams he's an XJ6
In which his bechstein nearly fits

...but I can't for the life of me remember who is supposed to have written it, nor could I find anyting in a (very brief) Google search.

Title: Re: Turtle dreaming
Post by Jan on 29.01.08 at 11:15
A search of the MV email archives finds the item you mention:

Date: Wed, 29 Sep 1999 22:56:54 +0100
From: S J Birkill <sjb@rwt.co.uk>
Subject: MV3457 Re: MV3455: Frangipanni Competition

David Henderson wrote:
>p.s. Of course, Ogden Nash was CJ's most prolific source - any MVs care to
>spot some of the other references?
>
  The turtle dreams he's an XJ6
  In which his Bechstein neatly fits
  I think it clever of the turtle
  Through Notting Hill so quiet to hurtle


The reference you can find on the internet is
http://www.westegg.com/nash/turtle.html

A little poetic licence Steve?

Jan

Title: Re: Turtle dreaming
Post by S J Birkill on 29.01.08 at 11:20
Ogden Nash wrote:

    The turtle lives 'twixt plated decks
    Which practically conceal its sex.
    I think it clever of the turtle
    In such a fix to be so fertile.

Midnight Voices wrote:

    The turtle dreams he's an XJ6
    In which his Bechstein neatly fits
    I think it clever of the turtle
    Through Notting Hill so quiet to hurtle

For much speculation see MV's mailing list Year Three archive (http://www.peteatkin.com/mv/mvdigyr3.php).

Steve

[PS -- Jan beat me to it!]

Title: Re: Turtle dreaming
Post by Kevin Cryan on 29.01.08 at 13:22

on 01/28/08 at 23:11:44, Ian Chippett wrote :
I'm sure this must have come up for discussion before but I can't remember why a car should be like a turtle dreaming? Is this another obscure literary reference I missed? Not that it would have to be all that obscure...

Ian C


Or could it possibly Clive had at the back of his mind Abroginal mythology in which Dreamings are, as I understand them, mythological creation stories. So according this this mythology "Yam Dreaming, Possum Dreaming, Rain Dreaming, and Fire Dreaming are all stories that describe how things came to be as they are today at specific places in the landscape." Songlines Aboriginal Art (http://www.aboriginal-art.com/arn_pages/dreamings.html).

If you Google it, you should come up with some very beautiful paintings representing these Dreamings.

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re: Turtle dreaming
Post by Kevin Cryan on 29.01.08 at 13:31

on 01/29/08 at 13:22:09, Kevin Cryan wrote :
Or could it possibly Clive had at the back of his mind Abroginal mythology in which Dreamings are, as I understand them, mythological creation stories. So according this this mythology ...................
Kevin Cryan


Should have read: Or could it possibly Clive had at the back of his mind Abroginal mythology in which Dreamings are, as I understand them, mythological creation stories. So according this this mythology?  

I missed the all-improtant question mark, all-important in this case because I was really asking a question and not using the question as a rhetorical device to posit a firmly-held view.


Kevin Cryan

Title: Re: Turtle dreaming
Post by Kevin Cryan on 29.01.08 at 13:36

on 01/29/08 at 13:31:28, Kevin Cryan wrote :
Should have read: Or could it possibly Clive had at the back of his mind Abroginal mythology in which Dreamings are, as I understand them, mythological creation stories. So according this this mythology?  

I missed the all-improtant question mark, all-important in this case because I was really asking a question and not using the question as a rhetorical device to posit a firmly-held view.


Kevin Cryan


Should have read(2): Or could it possibly Clive had at the back of his mind Abroginal mythology in which Dreamings are, as I understand them, mythological creation stories?  


I'll get it right eventually.

KC



Title: Re: Turtle dreaming
Post by S J Birkill on 29.01.08 at 14:35
Hi Kevin

A technical point: you may not realise that you do have the ability to edit your posts even after you've sent them, to correct any spelling, punctuation or formatting error, or even to change their content entirely, so long as you make the change within a half hour. The Forum adds a footnote stating that you've changed the message, and when.

If you're really speedy (inside about 6 minutes) you can make the change without getting the footnote.

Some of our members favoured the Aboriginal 'dreaming' thing back in '99 (it's all there in the archive). I for one was having none of it. :)

Steve

[PS -- Should have said, use the "Modify" link, top right in the message window.]

Title: Re: Turtle dreaming
Post by Richard Bleksley on 02.02.08 at 00:59
Excuse my jumping into this a bit tardily, but I felt honour bound to follow Steve's link to the archives before I opened my mouth, to make sure I wasn't repeating something that had already been said years ago.  A trawl through the relevant section of said archives left me with three conclusions:
    a)      No, what I have to say hasn't been said before, at least only in a very superficial "in passing" manner;
    b)      My, wasn't MV a lively place back in the old days?  And;
    c)      Reading too much text in one go on a monitor plays merry hell with your eyes.

Okay, to business.  Now, I have no idea exactly what Clive had in his mind when he wrote the line about the turtle dreaming; but I do know what it always calls to my mind, which is Great A'tuin from the works of the very excellent Terry Pratchett (a rare and heartening example, in my opinion, of an author who really deserves to be a best seller).

For those unaware, Pratchett's Discworld is supported on the backs of four gigantic elephants, who in turn stand on the back of an even more gigantic turtle (Great A'tuin) who is swimming through Space.  Yes, I know the first Discworld novel wasn't published until more than a decade after the song was written, but the idea isn't original to Pratchett, originating, I believe, in Hindu mythology.

So, as Great A'tuin swims through Space, the stars would stream past rather in the manner of streetlights seen from a moving car, though, I admit, much more slowly.  And, if you were a giant turtle swimming through Space with a world on your back, what better way could you find of alleviating the boredom of your existence than to dream?

Not a perfect explanation, perhaps; but, as I started by saying, that's what the line always calls to my mind anyway.

Just thought I'd mention it…  

(Oh, by the way, when Steve attributed the rather nifty parody of Ogden Nash to "Midnight Voices" he was being modest.  My search of the archives revealed that he actually wrote it himself.  Nice one, Steve.)

Title: Re: Turtle dreaming
Post by S J Birkill on 02.02.08 at 01:03

on 02/02/08 at 00:59:34, Richard Bleksley wrote :
Nice one, Steve.

Won't be winning any C James poetry prize with that six/fits rhyme, whoever wrote it :)

Steve

Title: Re: Turtle dreaming
Post by Richard Bleksley on 02.02.08 at 15:06
Maybe not, but what the hell. I still like it.



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