Dive in, splash around, skim and dip and spout about the latest quotations, metaphors, words and, of course, triologisms. You’ll feel better for it!

The first golden age

The first golden age

Continuing his retelling of the myth of Creation, Ted Hughes reminds us of a first golden age when humans were so close to 'the source' that they...

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Alighting stars

Alighting stars

I like this hint of stars being both lit up and alighting in their permanent positions in the firmament, after an eternity huddling together in the...

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Creation redux

Creation redux

Ted Hughes' retelling of the tales of Ovid is one of the most vibrant pieces of poetry I've enjoyed.  I had read Ovid's Metamorphoses in an old...

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A quote to note

Drawing on thousands of sparkling, moving and inspiring quotations amassed during decades of attentive reading. To delight your mind and spirit and improve your presentations beyond belief.

Who needs maps?

Who needs maps?

Here is a long winded anecdote, no doubt embellished in the re-telling, which you can stash away in your own postprandial story-store.  And feel...

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An electric moment

An electric moment

Having a soft spot for foxes, I loved this description of a hair-raising drive careering through the mountain roads of Ithaca in the 1950s, with a...

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Metaphorically speaking

More marvelous metaphors on Mondays … Monday, metaphor day.

Unreel writing

Unreel writing

There's something of fairy-tale magic in this idea of writing as a thread teased out from the writer's cupboard of experiences, unwinding like a...

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Technique as dousing

Technique as dousing

In discussing the technique of writing, Seamus Heaney conjures a water diviner as a metaphor.  At first glance far-fetched, as he follows it...

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The masonry of verse

The masonry of verse

A brick-solid image to convey a sense of Anglo-Saxon verse, implying it is precisely constructed and built for the ages.  But then this is a poet...

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Sunlight dripping

Sunlight dripping

Durrell's various Greek island books and Miller's Colossus of Maroussi enchanted me with their marvelous descriptions of people, places and the...

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Triologisms

Bringing you pithy, evocative imagery in the form of three-legged microcosms of meaning. Updated on Tuesdays … Tuesday, triologism day!  You’ll never see this day of the week in the same way again.

Acorn-bearing boughs

Acorn-bearing boughs

This is the season of acorn crunching paths, after the boughs have released them.  A couple of times on my near-daily walk, I have filled my pockets...

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Moss-eyed rascal

Moss-eyed rascal

You can't but help like such a maverick, something in the moss-coloured eyes, and the difference between him and the rest of the family making him...

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Green-glowing fields

Green-glowing fields

What a glorious image, enhanced by the animals trotting past - aggrieved camels I can envisage, but never thought of donkeys as being...

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Thick-pelted richness

Thick-pelted richness

Lovely notion, a frog-hopping place, cosy and dense with goodness, not to mention harbouring secrets.  See also this meadow's durability. Frogmead,...

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Self-renewing meadow

Self-renewing meadow

An image of ancient sustainability, a meadow which has renewed itself for hundreds or perhaps thousands of years, and with the lovely name of...

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Rheumy-eyed earl

Rheumy-eyed earl

Adam Nicolson appears to have grown up among the casual antiquity of aristocratic homes, leaving him with the childhood memory of being stared at...

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Words

Sharing words that sparkle, appeal, intrigue or otherwise grab me, including in other languages. And adoring alliteration, words are added on Wednesdays… Wednesday, word day. See you back here then.

Lauzengier

Lauzengier

Lauzengier (also 'lauzenger') appears in the songs of French troubadours.  An old Occitan word but surely one which it may be timely to pluck from...

Gulch it down

Gulch it down

Mervyn Peake uses Rabelaisian vocabulary to describe the gargantuan appetites and appearance of Swelter, the castle cook in his Gormenghast trilogy....

Mummarella

Mummarella

You would know the 'true' octopus if you saw it, wouldn't you? Reading a book about Mediterranean seafood, Luiz learned that according to an...

Ullage of sunflower

Ullage of sunflower

Something about this word that you can roll around the mouth like a good swig of wine or cognac, the removal of which would result in its ullage in...

Cragfast

Cragfast

Stuck?  In a tight corner?  No going forward ... or back?  Call yourself Cragfast. A sheep cornered on a crag, to starve in the absence of rescue....

Gummocks

Gummocks

This glorious word being no longer current, I invite you to revive it the next time someone does something daft or useless. Perhaps combine it...

I find it moving that no literary text is utterly original, no literary text is completely unique, that it stems from previous texts, built on quotations and misquotations, on the vocabularies fashioned by others and transformed through imagination and use.  Writers must find consolation in the fact that there is no very first story and no last one.  Our literature reaches further back than the beginnings of our memory permits us, and further into the future than our imagination allows us to conceive, but that must be the only barrier.  

Source: Alberto Manguel, The City of Words, CBC Massey Lecture Series (Toronto: Anansi Press, 2007), p. 139

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