Saturday, December 30, 2017

Aprilia Zank writes

betting on the new year

the new year's
just around the corner
and the Croupier
sniggers in my ear
faites vos jeux, madame,
faites vos jeux
but I'm no gambler
lack the vision
of how the wheel spins
or if my fortune lies
in red or black
in grey or purple
or in the infinite blue
of heaven
to give me a hint
of what I will
or I can
or I must
and, anyway,
one has to hurry
time and tide wait for no man
or woman
I have to make my choice
place my haphazard bet
on even or odds
before the Croupier yells
rien ne va plus
Image result for croupier paintings
 Green Table -- LeRoy Neiman


  1. faites vos jeux =place your bets
    rien ne va plus = nothing goes

    A croupier (dealer) assists in the conduct of a gambling game, especially in the distribution of bets and payouts. "Croupier" derived from "croup" (the rump of a horse) and referred to the one who rode behind on horseback; a croupier was someone who stood behind a gambler with extra reserves of cash as back up. Beginning in the 1520s a "dealer" was the person responsible for distributing cards (or the player in the dealer position, regardless of whether or not that player was responsible for distributing the cards). The term "dealer" is also applied to the contract bridge player who makes the 1st call in the auction, or (since ca. 1610) a person who sells on behalf of someone else or (since ca. 1920) one who sells illegal drugs. A dealer is also someone who behaves in a specified manner (like a plain dealer); the "real deal" is something that is authentic, but a "big deal' is something important or, used sarcastically, unimportant (this usage dates to 1928). Since 1837 a deal has meant a business transaction, a bargain or arrangement for mutual advantage, a secret or underhand agreement, a large but indefinite quantity, or a portion or share. The term "dealer" (before 900) comes from the Old English "dælere" (divider, distributor, separater, bestower, dispenser, sharer). In addition, a deal is a board or plank cut to a standard size, but this came from the Middle English "dele" (ca. 1400) by way of the Old high German "dilla." An Old English derivative was "þelu" (hewn wood, board, flooring), while another derivative, "thill," was one of the shafts of a vehicle that had a draft animal harnessed between them.
    To "deal," meaning to throw a ball, dates to 1602.

  2. In 1225 St. Marher wrote, "And te tide and te time þat tu iboren were, schal beon iblescet" (The tide abides for, tarrieth for no man, stays no man, tide nor time tarrieth no man"). In 1395 Geoffrey Chaucer expanded the observation in "The Clerk’s Tale" in "the Canterbury Tales": “For thogh we slepe, or wake, or rome, or ryde, Ay fleeth the tyme; it nyl no man abyde.” (For though we sleep, or wake, or roam, or ride, the time will fly; it will pause for no man.) "Tide' did not yet mean the rising and falling of the sea, it referred to a period of time, a season, a while 9as in the phrase "good tidings" or "noontide" or Whitsuntide, noontide, etc. When used on sundials each tide was about 3 hours long, starting at around 6am and ending at 6pm. Because of the periodic nature of the sea's rise and fall, the old term was given its modern meaning ca. 1350, perhaps from the Middle Low German "getide." In Old English "flod" and "ebba" refered to high and low tides, but no word encompassed both meanings; indeed, "heahtid'" (high tide) meant "high day, festival."

  3. Duane, I am simply overwhelmed by your erudite comments and information. Thank you very much -- highly appreciated!


Join the conversation! What is your reaction to the post?