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Coming Through The Rye

Robert Burns

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Added by: Steve-O
i think that the poem would be better translated like this:

Coming through the rye, poor girl,
Coming through the rye,
She always drags her petticoat
Coming through the rye.

Oh, Jenny's always wet, poor girl,
Jenny's seldom dry;
She always drags her petticoat
Coming through the rye.

Can a person meet a person
Coming through the rye,
Can a person kiss a person -
Need that person cry.

Can a person meet a person
Coming through the glen,
Can a person kiss a person -
Without everyone knowing?

couldnt get that last line and maintain the integrity of the rhyme scheme.

Added by: Kevin Merideth
For those readers who were referred here through averrances from Catcher in the Rye, here's what I understand about the connection between the poem and the novel. Salinger worked the poem into the story for a number of reasons, the primary one being Holden's misconception of the lines. Of course, Holden looks upon himself as a sort of self righteous figure, namely the catcher in the rye. He has misconstrued the line which (when paraphrased) says "If a body meet a body coming through the rye" to be "If a body catch a body coming through the rye" The imagery which results for him is a vast field of rye beside a cliff, with children playing in it. Holden's perception of his duty, as the so called catcher, is to keep the children from falling off into the abyss (I apologize for the thematic summary, for recent readers this is going to seem like so much repetetive drivel). The image portrays his self righteousness, but the fact that he has the line wrong also show his imperfection. This contributes to that subtle motif that Holden cannot hold up to his requirements for the rest of the world. Fellow AP English students, if you are handed the task of writing an essay based upon the title of a novel and it's correlation to another work of literature, this is the corresponding thread upon which to expound.
catcher in the rye
Added by: Italiana
the poem seems far from the book's main objective at first but now when i look over it again and again i realize that Holden's idealistic picture of the future and how life should be made his pessimistic nature seem sane to him when it was not. he had no guilt when he drunk himself so much but simply as an attempt to make his troubles go away so this drunk was trying to be the greatest person in the world by criticizing the world. he couldn't do anything good that he felt he was rewarded by his parents yet he decided to just give up and since he experienced an altered form of identity loss he had to grasp on the idea that he was a good person, the greatest, the one who could save the world, one child at a time.
Added by: James Castle
i've just finished readin' the book, and these commentaries, and found myself in the position of beeing the onlyone askin' if Holden by refering to himself as beeing the "catcher in the rye" wasn't actually a way to describe his wish of saving the other people he loves (Pheobe) from "falling in the abyss"? unlike his little brother Allie...
Added by: David
I think you're missing the US connection. Rye refers to Rye Whisky and the Catcher in the Rye is the addictiveness of the alchohol to him. Coming through the rye is what he sees and feels when drunk. The drink transmutes his view of the world, himself and his relationships making him maudlin at times and jolly at others. He just fastened on to aspects of the Burns poem because he thought it matched his perceptions in a cryptic way
if a body meet a body coming throught the rye
Added by: PAul
I am now readin catcher in the rye by JD Salinger and when phoebe asks holden what he wants to be, he says he will be the catcher in the rye. How he will be on the edge of the cliff catching the kids playing in the rye field. I dont understand the meaning of how this relates to overall meaning of the story. What is the "catcher in the rye" statement foreshadowing? very curious
Catcher in the Rye
Added by: Gingerbread Murder
Well, yeah, I was looking up reviews of Catcher in the Rye because I was recommended the book by a friend, and then I got sidetracked by this forum and all. I'm not completely finished with the book, but I'm past the part where he talks to Phoebe about what he wants to be'n all that. Well, I just wanted to say that the boy who committed suicide in one of his previous colleges should also be considered. I'm not sure if I interpreted it right or not but that's what I understand to have happened. I think that he may also have meant that he wanted to save people from the abyss and the Hell he felt, to catch them as he could not catch the boy who committed suicide?
catcher in the rye
Added by: woodstock
he wants to keep things the same? preservation of innocence and all that...
Meaning on catching
Added by: quim
well, as many of you said I also think that holden wants to be "the catcher in the rye" to save the kids from falling, and that the first one he wants to save is Phoebe, her sister. But I don't agree with the idea of wanting to save them from "falling" as if it had something to do with death. not to save them from dying like his little brother, but for them not being swallowed and changed by the world when growing up. Basically, he doesn't want them to become "phonies", he would rather dye than see Phoebe changed by the interaction with all the supidity that is waiting for her out there, and in his mind he extends that to other kids. On the other hand I also recognize a little conection with death when he talks about that boy who commited suicide, cause if he did, was for not being able to adapt to that outer world.
Old Version
Added by: Lisa
Meaning of this poem? It's purely sexual. There is an older, unsanitised version which is a lot more bawdy and graphic. It's basically about meeting up to have sex. As for the Catcher in the Rye, perhaps this is what Holden's refering to?

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