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Patient sky Options
Tomahawk71
Posted: Wednesday, August 02, 2017 2:29:12 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/7/2010
Posts: 415
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Location: İstanbul, Istanbul, Turkey
Hi,
What does patient mean here, please?


"Albert Bridge was as preposterous as ever; bony steel, rising to Wagnerian
pinnacles, against the patient London sky; the Thames crawling beneath it with
resignation, edging its filth into the wharves of Battersea, then sliding towards
the mist down river."
Gabriel82
Posted: Wednesday, August 02, 2017 2:52:37 AM

Rank: Member

Joined: 7/22/2017
Posts: 43
Neurons: 65,633
Location: Wichita Falls, Texas, United States
Tomahawk71 wrote:
Hi,
What does patient mean here, please?


"Albert Bridge was as preposterous as ever; bony steel, rising to Wagnerian
pinnacles, against the patient London sky; the Thames crawling beneath it with
resignation, edging its filth into the wharves of Battersea, then sliding towards
the mist down river."


You cannot take "patient" literally here, employing its literal meaning. This is an example of anthropomorphization, which transforms something inanimate (the sky) into a person. Here is the definition:

an·thro·po·mor·phism (ăn′thrə-pə-môr′fĭz′əm)
n.
Attribution of human motivation, characteristics, or behavior to inanimate objects, animals, or natural phenomena.
an′thro·po·mor′phic adj.
an′thro·po·mor′phi·cal·ly adv.
an′thro·po·mor′phist n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Therefore you can understand this passage to represent the sky as a patient person, hoping the mistakes it sees will be corrected or remedied in some way. You can understand this from the combination of words "patient, crawling (indicating a very slow passage of time and movement), edging its filth..., sliding towards..." The author utilizes imagery to exaggerate the bridge as "bony," as if it were a malnourished person and when you combine this with the filth and pollution, this paints a very unhealthy and unappealing scene for readers.
thar
Posted: Wednesday, August 02, 2017 3:37:07 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 15,755
Neurons: 62,977
I think you don't need to overthink it. It is just the passing metaphor of patience. It is just a passiuve description,so nothing much was happening. It is just setting a scene of passivity, monotony.
A 'greasy' river is grey, flat and untroubled - not a windy day. Not a sunny day. Not an anything day.
This is how I would read it.
If you think of the opposite - an impatient sky would be roiling with dark clouds, about to burst with heavy rain, all anticipation and action.....
But this is the opposite. A patient sky. No rush. Another day in gloomy London. Whatever shenanigans these characters are getting up to, they really don't matter. The sky will still be there tomorrow.




It's a good description. It is a very bony bridge and the decoration is quite preposterous. Mid-Victorian confidence. But it has character, unlike more utilitarian river crossings.



Edited.



Ashwin Joshi
Posted: Wednesday, August 02, 2017 6:17:24 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/3/2016
Posts: 1,242
Neurons: 66,396
Location: Jandiāla Guru, Punjab, India


The 'patient' sky;



Calm, as usual.



And the night sky;




Me Gathering Pebbles at The Seashore.-Aj
Tomahawk71
Posted: Wednesday, August 02, 2017 7:55:15 AM

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Joined: 1/7/2010
Posts: 415
Neurons: 122,596
Location: İstanbul, Istanbul, Turkey
So the sky is not sick. It's just waiting and watching.

It's a healthy sky.

thar
Posted: Wednesday, August 02, 2017 8:16:53 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 15,755
Neurons: 62,977
Ashwin Joshi wrote:


The 'patient' sky;

Calm, as usual.


Remember this is London. Sunny takes an effort.
Grey is usual. Calm is rare. Whistle

It is a maritime climate, which I guess is harder for people to get used to from continental climates. It means the weather is always moving across the country, always changing.

Quote:
UK forecast for the next 5 days
Headline:
Rain for many today, but sunny in northern Scotland.

Today:
A cloudy, wet and windy start to the day in the south and west, but fine elsewhere. Rain moving across all parts through the day, away from the far north, with heavy bursts in the south. Sunshine and showers following.

Tonight:
Persistent rain clearing to the southeast and north tonight with some clear spells developing. Scattered showers continuing, mainly in the north and west, and staying breezy in the south.

Thursday:
A windy day for England and Wales, with sunshine and showers for many across the UK. Showers are likely to be heavy at times and occasionally thundery in the north.

Outlook for Friday to Sunday:
Sunshine and showers will continue towards the end of the week, but often staying largely dry in the southeast. Breezy for many areas, and feeling rather cool for most.

Updated: 02:58 on Wed 2 Aug 2017 BST


Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, August 02, 2017 7:54:47 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 26,864
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Hello Tomahawk.

If the words 'patient sky' make you think that the sky is sick, then you have one definition of 'patient' (the noun definition) but not the normal adjective definition.

patient adj
1. enduring trying circumstances with even temper
2. tolerant; understanding
3. capable of accepting delay with equanimity
4. persevering or diligent:

Collins English Dictionary

The author contrasts the patient sky (calm, persevering, tolerant, accepting delay) and resigned river with the Wagnerian bridge (dramatic, emotional, noisy!)

Wagnerian adj
1. (Music, other) of or suggestive of the dramatic musical compositions of Richard Wagner, their massive scale, dramatic and emotional intensity, etc

Collins English Dictionary

As Gabriel says, each is being 'given' human emotions.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Tomahawk71
Posted: Thursday, August 03, 2017 1:47:36 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/7/2010
Posts: 415
Neurons: 122,596
Location: İstanbul, Istanbul, Turkey
Thank you all!Applause
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