Moulton Lava

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Location: New England, United States

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Leviathan, Behemoth, and Ziz

Way out West they had a name
For Wind and Rain and Fyre.
The Rain is Tess, the Fyre's Jove
And they call the Wind Mariah.

In Bible days they had three names
For monsters fierce and dire
They needed them to take the blame
For spawning muck and mire.

Leviathan, Behemoth and Ziz
The air's a mess, the land's aflame
And the seas are rising higher
Who takes the blame for all this mess?
Yea, punishment doth require.

Azazel took the blame before
(Not sacrificial pyre)
Kids wander lonely in a fog
And listen to the wire.

Leviathan stirs the seas awash
Behemoth rakes the mire
The air above is fogged by Ziz
So says our vexed town crier.

What shall we make of monsters three
Of wind and land and water
Their names are known, but not their bones
Let's unspell them for your daughter.


They Call the Wind Mariah

13 Comments:

Blogger Higs; said...

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10:58 AM  
Blogger Higs; said...

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11:07 AM  
Blogger Moulton said...

I spent some time looking up Ziz.

There is one explanation that the name comes from the Hebrew word, Zeh (this or that), suggesting vacillation or zigzagging, with no clear direction.

That etymology also connects to the "crooked serpent" characterization of Leviathan (from Isaiah). The Hebrew word for "crooked" in that passage is today used to describe a railroad switch-track or switch-yard. The connection to bending (going around the bend or the turning a corner) is also suggested (as is "coiling"). That would be in contrast to a graceful curve (or "fair curve" as the term in used in shipbuilding).

The grazing animal (Behemoth) also meanders aimlessly in the manner of a drunkard's walk, with no clear purpose other than to eat and bulk up.

I have found no etymology for Behemoth other than "beast" (which is how the word is used in modern Hebrew, just as Leviathan is now the modern Hebrew word for whale).

12:19 PM  
Blogger Higs; said...

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3:01 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Drunkward's Walk, Brownian Motion, Diffusion, and the Weiner Process are all synonyms for the same mathematical model. MIT Mathematician, Norbert Weiner, did the most work on it, so it bears his name in the modern technical literature.

Regarding the saying, "You are what you eat," I suppose the Eucharist is a suggestion to eat that which is Becoming, rather than to poison one's soul with that which is Unbecoming.

3:47 PM  
Blogger Higs; said...

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4:35 PM  
Blogger Higs; said...

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4:38 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Hrmm. To the best of my recollection, I've never dreamed of eating or taking drugs.

Mostly my dreams are novel angles at solving problems that have been on my mind.

4:43 PM  
Blogger Higs; said...

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5:05 PM  
Blogger Higs; said...

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5:13 PM  
Blogger Higs; said...

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4:48 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

I'm not sure why Tim erased his comments, but they are cached here.

3:27 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Now cached here.

9:26 PM  

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