on poetry

August 10, 2021

“I write out of curiosity — to see what language can do at the ‘limit-cases’ of writing. I believe that poetry constitutes the ‘R & D wing’ of language, reverse-engineering this alien technology for human expression. I build anti-gravity machines out of words.”
Christian Bök
(b. August 10, 1966)

. . . . .

on poetry

May 3, 2021

“Look, words are like the air: they belong to everybody. Words are not the problem; it’s the tone, the context, where those words are aimed, and in whose company they are uttered. Of course murderers and victims use the same words, but I never read the words utopia, or beauty, or tenderness in police descriptions. Do you know that the Argentinean dictatorship burnt The Little Prince? And I think they were right to do so, not because I do not love The Little Prince, but because the book is so full of tenderness that it would harm any dictatorship.”
Juan Gelman
(May 3, 1930 – January 14, 2014)

on poetry

January 20, 2021

“try to put the poetry in the language that we speak, to use that language, take those simple words and make out of them something that is moving, that is powerful, that is there.”
Pat Parker
(January 20, 1944 – June 17, 1989)

change, one word at a time

November 25, 2020

If you are a writer, linguist, lexicographer, sociolinguist, language technologist, word enthusiast, or someone interested in how languages evolve, you may be interested in the fascinating, free, downloadable Words of an Unprecedented Year report from Oxford University Press.

In addition, there will be a free webinar, Words of an unprecedented year: Behind the scenes of the Oxford Languages’ Word of the Year 2020, on Thursday, December 10, 2020, at 7:00am Pacific. It will be recorded and available for later viewing. Registration is required.

awesomesauce, adj.

May 15, 2020

If you are tiring of your own vocabulary, consider subscribing to OED Online Word of the Day. As self-isolation, flatten the curve, and social distancing have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary, the daily dose of words includes both antiquated and charming selections. Consider: awfulize, begrudgery, femina (‘The long pale feathers from the wing tips of a female ostrich, used as decorative plumes’), ombrogenous, wallydraigle, and (a favorite) o (‘Used to symbolize a hug’). Your spell-check won’t like it, but you might!

someone you know?

January 14, 2020

If you subscribe to the Oxford English Dictionary Word of the Day, you already know that today’s word is the noun musophobist: A person who dislikes or mistrusts poetry.

Word of the Day is free. Sign up at OED.com.

on poetry

April 13, 2019

“If you have the words, there’s always a chance that you’ll find the way.”
Seamus Heaney
(April 13, 1939 – August 30, 2013)

. . . . .
quote from Stepping Stones: Interview with Seamus Heaney
photo © John Minihan

on poetry

December 30, 2018

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.”
Rudyard Kipling
(December 30, 1865 – January 18, 1936)

. . . . .

on poetry

September 10, 2018

“Words were her plague and words were her redemption.”

(September 10, 1886 – September 27, 1961)

. . . . .

on poetry

June 15, 2017

are a waste of time…

Kobayashi Issa
(June 15, 1763 – January 5, 1828)

. . . . .

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