Tagged ubi sunt

“Weohryant University” (XXXIV) – Where 101

blurtso4441

Today’s question, said Blurtso, is “Where does it lead?”
Where does what lead? said Morton.
The road? said Chelsea.
The river? said Glouster.
The question? said Emma Lou.
I suppose everything leads somewhere, said Frank.
Why? said Morton.
Because things are always moving, said Frank.
I’m not always moving, said Morton, sometimes I nap in one place for hours.
Why do you nap? said Frank.
Because I’m sleepy, said Morton.
Why do you stop napping? said Frank.
Because I’m no longer sleepy, said Morton.
Then napping, said Frank, leads to not being sleepy.
I suppose time is the answer, said Emma Lou.
Time? said Chelsea.
Yes, said Emma Lou, time is what makes everything lead to something.
“Time,” said Glouster, is “the measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues.”
It makes motion possible, said Emma Lou.
What does time lead to? said Morton.
Death, said Frank.
And birth, said Chelsea.
And hunger, said Morton.
Hunger, said Frank, leads to the search for food.
And the search for food, said Chelsea, leads in all directions.
Like the wind, said Frank.
The wind? said Morton.
Yes, said Frank, the wind also leads in all directions.
What leads to the wind? said Morton.
“Wind,” said Glouster, is “movement of the air at any velocity.”
We’re back to movement, said Frank, or “motion.”
What sets motion in motion? said Morton.
That’s a good question, said Glouster.
Perhaps the question does, said Emma Lou.
Does what? said Morton.
Sets it in motion, said Emma Lou.
Sets what in motion? said Morton.
Everything, said Emma Lou.

“Weohryant University” (XIX) – Where 101

blurtso5220

Today’s question, said Harlan, is: “Where did it go?”
Where did what go? said Chelsea.
It was here just a minute ago, said Morton.
I didn’t take it, said Emma Lou.
Neither did I, said Frank.
Do you mean “ubi sunt”? said Glouster.
Ubi sunt? said Morton.
“Ubi sunt,” said Glouster, is Latin for “Where are they?” It comes from a Latin poem that begins, “Ubi sunt qui ante nos in mundo fuere?” which translates: “Where are they who, before us, existed in the world?” It was a common theme in medieval poetry, and was most famously expressed by the French poet, François Villon who asked, “Où sont les neiges d’antan?” or “Where are the snows of yesteryear?”
The snows of yesteryear? said Morton.
I don’t like snow, said Chelsea.
Neither do I, said Frank.
I don’t mind it, said Emma Lou, so long as I’m not far from my den.
Why would anyone worry about last year’s snow? said Morton.
It’s a metaphor, said Glouster, for all the things you’ve lost in your life.
Lost? said Chelsea.
Yes, said Glouster, the things you had in the past that you no longer have.
The things I’ve eaten? said Morton.
Yes, said Glouster, and the friends you’ve lost, and your lost youth.
My lost youth? said Chelsea.
Yes, said Glouster.
I’m not going to lose my youth, said Chelsea.
Of course you are, said Glouster.
Really? said Chelsea.
Yes, said Glouster.
In that case, said Chelsea, I don’t like “ubi sunt.”
Crows live forever, said Frank.
They do? said Morton.
Sure, said Frank, crows, or “ravens”, and nightingales, and even some other birds.
Are you sure? said Morton.
Yes, said Frank, just ask Edgar Allen Poe and John Keats.
Who are they? said Chelsea.
They are poets, said Frank, who wrote about birds who live forever, birds who travel from heaven to earth to hell and then back again.
Have you been to heaven and hell? said Chelsea.
No, said Frank, not yet.
I don’t want to go to hell, said Morton.
Heaven and hell, said Glouster, are metaphors for, “the realm of the dead.”
I don’t want to go there either, said Morton.
Maybe, said Chelsea, that’s where the “ubi sunts” are.
I know a song, said Frank, about “ubi sunt.”
What’s it called? said Chelsea.
It’s called “The Ashgrove,” said Frank, and it has a blackbird in it.
How does it go? said Chelsea.
I don’t remember all the words, said Frank, but it’s about a woman who loses her lover and looks for him in an ashgrove.
Does she find him? said Chelsea.
No, said Frank, he’s buried beneath the green turf.
Is that a metaphor for “the realm of the dead”? said Morton.
Yes, said Frank.
Why doesn’t the blackbird, said Chelsea, fly to the realm of the dead, talk to the dead lover, then return and talk to the woman so she can have a sense of closure?
That’s a good question, said Frank.
What’s closure? said Morton.
Closure, said Chelsea, is talking with your ex-lover until you have nothing more to say.
Why would you want to do that? said Morton.
Because, said Chelsea, if you say everything you have to say, you can stop thinking about him when he’s gone.
So he doesn’t become an “ubi sunt”? said Morton.
Yes, said Chelsea.
I would like to be an “ubi sunt”, said Emma Lou.
So would I, said Glouster.
Why? said Chelsea.
Because, said Glouster, I don’t want to be forgotten.
Being forgotten, said Emma Lou, would be like a second death.
Maybe it’s a good thing, said Morton, for people to go around asking “ubi sunt?”
Why? said Chelsea.
Because, said Morton, it keeps the dead from dying.