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eva.amaral
Posted: Saturday, May 2, 2009 6:17:46 PM
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Joined: 4/12/2009
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Location: Brazil
There is a poem called "Down by the Salley Gardens" by William Butler Yeats and I want to know what the expression "down by" means in the title. Are the Salley Gardens a place that is lower than where the observer is?

I'm confused! Could anyone help me, please?

Thanks in advance.
catskincatskin
Posted: Saturday, May 2, 2009 8:06:36 PM
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Joined: 3/19/2009
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It doesn't necessarily mean a place lower than where the observer is. The word "down" here can be used to simply mean that the Salley Gardens are not where the speaker is currently. Also, the phrases "down by" or "down at" suggests familiarity ("down at the old ball park," for example).
eva.amaral
Posted: Saturday, May 2, 2009 8:09:36 PM
Rank: Member

Joined: 4/12/2009
Posts: 16
Neurons: 44
Location: Brazil
catskincatskin wrote:
It doesn't necessarily mean a place lower than where the observer is. The word "down" here can be used to simply mean that the Salley Gardens are not where the speaker is currently. Also, the phrases "down by" or "down at" suggests familiarity ("down at the old ball park," for example).



Thanks a lot!
risadr
Posted: Saturday, May 2, 2009 8:32:53 PM
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Joined: 3/16/2009
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I agree with catskincatskin that the phrase "down by" is most commonly used to refer to a place that the speaker is familiar with, but it also has a certain air of informality. For example, I wouldn't refer to something happening "down at the courthouse" or "down by the Capitol," but I would refer to something going on "down at the park," or, as Raffi would say, "down by the bay."

(If anyone else gets that reference, you will become my new best friend. : ) )
Angus
Posted: Sunday, May 3, 2009 4:16:29 PM
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Risa, is that where the watermelons grow?
Luftmarque
Posted: Sunday, May 3, 2009 6:05:31 PM

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Location: Pau, Aquitaine, France
I'm gonna lay down my sword and shield
Down by the riverside…
risadr
Posted: Wednesday, May 6, 2009 10:25:48 AM
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Location: PA, United States
Angus wrote:
Risa, is that where the watermelons grow?


It is. Indeed, it is. Dancing
fred
Posted: Wednesday, May 6, 2009 10:57:52 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/1/2009
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Here it could mean that the "Willow Grove" is in a low area.

Being Willows, the grove is in an low area where water is in abundance. This grove apparently has alot of fertility and growth. This is the lost aspect of that youth which is being observed from the higher, drier, less promising location of life lived.

Of course "by" may mean not actually in the Willow Grove. This is the "field", an area of lush grass, where the adjacent trees provide some seclusion and teaching.
MiTziGo
Posted: Wednesday, May 6, 2009 12:28:30 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/16/2009
Posts: 1,391
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risadr wrote:
Angus wrote:
Risa, is that where the watermelons grow?
It is. Indeed, it is. Dancing

I don't know about you, but back to my home, I dare not go!
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