Thursday, October 30, 2008

Quote of the Day: You Guess!

As I mentioned in my previous post, I administered a midterm exam today. Part of that exam was to identify a passage, who wrote it, who's speaking, and why it is significant within the work as a whole. They had to do about six of these before writing their essays.

Here is one of those passages. Can you identify it?

Ever do we build our households,
ever do we make our nests,
ever do brothers divide their inheritance,
ever do feuds arise in the land.

Ever the river has risen and brought us the flood,
the mayfly floating on the water.
On the face of the sun its countenance gazes,
Then all of a sudden nothing is there!

Hmm...I guess I can't put any labels on this post until someone correctly identifies the passage!


w said...

I think it's from The Epic of Gilgamesh, but I don't know who's speaking or the greater context.

Jared Calaway said...

Yay! That's right!

The context is Uta-Nipishti (the Mesopotamian Noah) relating his great wisdom to Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh had been on a quest for immortality, but Uta-Nipishti (in Mesopotamian tradition, he is the only human to attain immortality)basically tells him about the wisdom of the inevitability of death.