Monday, August 13, 2012

[Moon-dæg] Digging Deep for Poetry?


{You may only know these words if you've read books as big as this one. The Image is "Manet's The Reader," and was found on the Eagle-Eyed Editor (ultimately from the Wikimedia Commons).}

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Today's piece is a poem written based on an earlier iteration of the 'obscure words' exercise mentioned in an earlier entry. It was originally written in January of 2008, when I was President of the University of Guelph's Creative Writing Society.

Now, the words themselves weren't recorded along with the poem (since I found this transcribed into a newer notebook), but here there are as close as I can figure (definitions from the Oxford English Dictionary Online):

  • Nasonite: (n.) "A trigonal silicate and chloride of calcium and lead, Ca4Pb6(Si2O7)3Cl2, which forms prismatic crystals and occurs as white or grey granular masses."
  • Hoodwink: (n.) A game of blind man's bluff; a blind; a person who deceives; (adj.) blindfold; (v.) to cover from sight; to blindfold mentally; to wink."
  • Draggling: (v.) "To wet or befoul (a garment, etc.) by allowing it to drag through mire or wet grass, or to hang untidily in the rain; to make wet, limp, and dirty."
  • Purloined: (adj.) "Pilfered, stolen"
  • Newspaperish: (adj) "Somewhat characteristic of or like a newspaper; having a style associated with newspapers; journalistic."

Unfortunately, I'm not sure if those last two words were in the original list, but those are the ones that look the most obscure compared to the rest of the words in this poem.

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Each and every purloined belch
Is a squeamish expulsion of Catholic conscience
Newspaperish in its regurgitation of facts
What's red and white and red and white‭
     red and white all over‎?

I cannot hoodwink those direfully‭
     skilful reporters
By trying to hide acts in‭
     nasonite mines
Collapsed now yet growing still
As their noisy pessimistic formations slowly

Yet I groan onwards under that harsh‭
My own idea of god and right
Imposed and invulnerable
To any deterioration through draggling:
What's learned in youth is never forgotten
Even in age‭ – ‬health willing‭ – ‬that light
     never goes out.

When the candle becomes a‭
     cold wax column
The smoke it made‭ alone
     will silently mourn,
With an elegiac brief dance,
The loss of those automatic lessons.

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Don't miss tomorrow's Annotated Links (and don't forget about Thursday's)! Come Wednesday, a new editorial will be up, and on Friday, join me for a search for the serviceable in 1976's animal-based horror Squirm

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