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Passions in Poetry

A Lazy Man

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Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


0 posted 02-06-2000 07:28 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

This if from 'As I Lay dying' by William Faulkner, p. 114:

"I notice how it takes a lazy man, a man that hates moving, to get set on moving once he does get started off, the same as he was set on staying still, like it aint the moving he hates so much as the starting and the stopping. And like he would be kind of proud of whatever come up to make the moving or the setting still look hard. He set there on the wagon, hunched up, blinking, listening to us tell about how quick the bridge went and how high the water was, and I be durn if he didn't act like he was proud of it, like he had made the river rise himself."

I found this definition of a lazy man to be really interesting (and a little too close for comfort) but I'm curious if anybody else identifies with it. In other words, laziness is not defined by action or energy or a lack thereof but by a resistance to change. The passage also seems to imply a certain self absorbed belief that we control the forces of nature.

Brad
Trevor
Senior Member
since 08-12-99
Posts 744
Canada


1 posted 02-11-2000 05:45 AM       View Profile for Trevor   Email Trevor   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Trevor

Hey Brad,

I didn't interpret Faulkner's words the same as you, I thought he was stating two possible definitions "like it aint the moving he hates so much as the starting and the stopping", I thought was resistance to change while, "He set there on the wagon, hunched up, blinking, listening to us tell about how quick the bridge went and how high the water was, and I be durn if he didn't act like he was proud of it, like he had made the river rise himself.", I thought more of a man so lazy that his efforts only lay within listening and taking a certain amount of credit for someone else's actions, which made me think of Faulkner's definition of lazy as not a man resisting change but a man resisting action because he knows change will come anyways regardless of what he does.

"The passage also seems to imply a certain self absorbed belief that we control the forces of nature."

I didn't get that from the passage, though it might make more sense if I read the whole poem or prose. I thought, from this passage that he was more hinting at the contrast between the enormous energy expended by mother nature and the lack of energy expenditure by the lazy man.

I do like your idea of change though, new way of looking at it, and even when applied to a "lazy" hard working person, one could say that they are too lazy to explore relaxation, too lazy to change their lifestyle. Also action (which is usually seen as change) could still fit into laziness if the action was a complacent one. But then you have to start touching on what causes change and lack thereof if you were to use this definition, because sometimes fear keeps someone from changing.
Anyways, interesting thought, take care,
Trevor  
 
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