Friday, March 16, 2007

Dictionary Definitions

This week's Poetry Thursday prompt was to choose a word from the dictionary that was unfamiliar to us and to use it in a poem, without looking up the definition. Initially I wasn't very inspired by this concept, but then I reminded myself that I have been looking to break out of my usual mode lately, and this was the perfect opportunity.

Due to time pressures I haven't had much of a chance to work on this one, and it's possibly therefore not up to my usual standards, but because I want to get this out there, here we go. Warning: The title is a spoiler:

Goosebumps
After he spoke everyone
milled around in a
state of horripilation.
It seemed that what
he had said was so
outside of the boundaries
of accepted cultural
norm that it stripped
away the epidermis of
everyday communication.
He found himself
shuffling in one spot
squeezing his hands
behind his back,
eyes moving unable
to settle on any of
those who remained
to witness his state
of verbal nudity.
And yet it was not
just he who was
standing there naked.
His actions had left
everyone exposed,
witness to the
weakness of the
thin hair covered skin
of civility.

Once I got started on looking up words in the dictionary it was impossible to stop. There's a whole list of words just waiting for me to take them on:

Hoopoe - any Old World bird of the family Upupidae, esp. Upupa epops, of Europe, having an erectile, fanlike crest.
Hoosegow - a jail.
Hopak -
a folk dance of the Ukraine.
Horary -
1.pertaining to an hour; indicating the hours: the horary circle.
2.occurring every hour; hourly.

Hornfels - a dark, fine-grained metamorphic rock, the result of recrystallization of siliceous or argillaceous sediments by contact metamorphism.
Intrathecal - introduced into or occurring in the space under the arachnoid membrane of the brain or spinal cord <intrathecal injection of isotonic iced saline for intractable pain
Intertrigo - chafing between two skin surfaces that are in contact (as in the armpit or under the breasts or between the thighs)
Monokini - a topless bikini.
Monopsony - the market condition that exists when there is one buyer.
Nainsook - a fine, soft-finished cotton fabric, usually white, used for lingerie and infants' wear.
Nabob -
1.any very wealthy, influential, or powerful person.
2.Also, nawab. a person, esp. a European, who has made a large fortune in India or another country of the East.

Regolith - The layer of loose rock resting on bedrock, constituting the surface of most land. Also called mantle rock.
Saleratus - sodium bicarbonate used in cookery; baking soda.
Salian - of, pertaining to, or designating a Frankish people who lived in the region of the Rhine near the North Sea.
Skarn - A coarse-grained metamorphic rock formed by the contact metamorphism of carbonate rocks. Skarn typically contains garnet, pyroxene, epidote, and wollastoni
Tristesse - sadness



3 comments:

Crafty Green Poet said...

I love the opening of this poem and also where you take it. Horripilation, what a word! I like your list too, the hoopoe is one of my favourite birds though I've only ever seen one.

gautami tripathy said...

...to witness his state
of verbal nudity.
And yet it was not
just he who was
standing there naked.
His actions had left
everyone exposed,
witness to the
weakness of the
thin hair covered skin
of civility....

I read those lines again and again.

welcome to my universe said...

A well crafted poem. I really felt like squirming during that uncomfortable moment.