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1. Answer


by Philip Booth


On land any length of rope that’s hitched

to something beyond itself and takes

the strain is called the standing part.

Tossed over a beam or limb, with a slipknot

tied in the farther end, the standing part

could be said to end in a noose. At sea,

put to use, rope changes its name to line.

The part spliced into an eye or, say,

made fast to a shackle, the part that does

the work, that works, remains the standing part.

Any loop or slack curve in the running part

of the line, the part that’s not working, becomes

a bight; and the part of the running part

that’s let go, or finally eased off

until there’s no reserve left, is known

as the bitter end. As it is in other events,

ashore or at sea, that come to the end of the line

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