"Little solace comes
to those who grieve
When thoughts keep drifting
as walls keep shifting
and this great blue world of ours
seems a house of leaves
moments before the wind"
What does "house of leaves" mean anyway?
I tried translating the phrase "house of leaves" into German, and I ran into a problem. The word "of" in English can be translated into German as von, aus, or der. This is because the word "of" can imply three different meanings, and therefore the phrase "house of leaves" can also have three different meanings: A house constructed of leaves (what I alway assumed and took for granted until I tried to translate it), a house for (housing), i.e. belonging to leaves, like a house full of leaves, or a house originating (ausstammen) from leaves. All three of which have interesting implications considering the symbolism suggested in the poem and throughout the book.
A house constructed of leaves would shift. It would be fragile (?), transient, maybe almost impossible to possess, or to hold on to, so strong in a way, in the way water is strong, etc.
A house for leaves implies that is a seemingly typical one, but the things that live there (the family) are leaves, or like leaves, scattering, fragile, grieving, afraid = "shaking like leaves," easily blown apart, etc.
And a house originating from leaves... okay, this one is pretty stupid. I mean, really. Originating from leaves? House from Leaves? Come on. I don't know, maybe it's tied to the origins of the house, of leaves, coming from leaves in an elemental way. I don't know. I should have left this last one out probably.
Anyway, I don't know if anyone has talked about this on here already, but I think it's an interesting little question. You know, what exactly does the title of the book mean?