far cries from

Stahlke, Herbert F.W. hstahlke at BSU.EDU
Tue Dec 14 14:55:04 UTC 2004

Today in a student paper I read "These meanings ... are far cries from
the uses of "nice" and "bad" that we use today."  Google shows 399 hits
on "far cries from" and 695 on "far cries".  The latter, apparently, is
used of some participants in rock events, including a report from an
Elvis look-alike concert.  It also appears in a Thomas Wolfe quote, "
"We feel the sorrow and the hush/of evening in the city,/the voices,
quiet, casual, lonely,/of the people,/far cries and broken sounds,/and
smell the sea, the harbor,/and the huge, slow breathing of deserted
docks,/and know that there are ships there!/And beauty swells/like a
wild song in our heart,/beauty bursting like a great grape in our
throat,/beauty aching, rending, wordless, and unutterable,/beauty in us,
all around us,/never to be captured--/and we know that we are dying/as
the river flows!" (A Stone, A Leaf, A Door, 34)
But here it seems to have its expected meaning of cries from a distance.


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