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!

Speed meets beauty

Speed meets beauty

One of the most vivid and original similes I have come across is Ted Hughes' description of the two dazzling qualities of the athletic Atalanta: her...

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Lapping the summits

Lapping the summits

What an image!  The original deluge raising water levels so high that they lap over the summits like liquid blankets.  And look at that ignominious...

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Fire or flood?

Fire or flood?

How did the Flood of floods come about?  According to Hughes' irresistible re-telling of Ovid's tales, Jove quietly considered the best means to...

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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.

Swarming possibility

Swarming possibility

An unusual image, of possibility swarming like larvae, ready to burst into butterfly winged realization.  ... to swarm with larval possibility. For...

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Bull’s eye writing

Bull’s eye writing

You can just hear and see the word-arrow striking home and whooshingly vibrating its meaning as its velocity comes to rest in the bull's eye.Closing...

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From pantheon to palate

From pantheon to palate

A piled up commentary of poets on poets: Heaney on Mandelstam on Dante.  Osip Mandelstam (1891-1938), who died in uncertain circumstances following...

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Relief of the gods

Relief of the gods

A gratitude, therefore, that the whole race or culture has not been wiped out even if the city has been razed; gratitude that one strong...

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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.

Buttercup-sprinkled grass

Buttercup-sprinkled grass

Buttercups have recently seeded themselves in our garden and I have learned what tenacious plants they are - their delicate sun-yellow petals belie...

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Purple-budded seedlings

Purple-budded seedlings

A description of alders which caught my eye.  It is winter here, and I am waiting for the first sign of seedlings. Every year, they throw out...

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Sad-eyed pools

Sad-eyed pools

When earth is parched it often repels the water it needs, which just glances off the surface.  If rain persists, sooner or later that...

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Wind-blown apples

Wind-blown apples

Last year I ate about two such apples a day from our single, old, gnarled apple tree which had a bumper harvest.  That lasted me two months even...

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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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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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