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!

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.

Uncle, who are you?

Uncle, who are you?

A delightful exchange between the boy György Faludy, and a friend, or at least acquaintance, of his grandfather's.  I loved the man's playfully...

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Summer’s end

Summer’s end

Just as you sense a sadness at the departing summer, the arrival of Goldmund brings a great waft of warm light and colour.  One of the most...

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Metaphorically speaking

More marvelous metaphors on Mondays … Monday, metaphor day.

A remembered voice

A remembered voice

After losing her mother, a daughter recalls her voice and finds the memory catching at her heart the way bedstraw does.  It's only a few years since...

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Boughs uplifting

Boughs uplifting

A novel simile for a gentle breeze soughing the branches until they rise and fall like waves. There was only the evening wind lifting the boughs,...

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A predatory gaze

A predatory gaze

A penetrating gaze likened to the steadfast unblinking focus of an owl about to swoop for its targetted lunch.  I had someone look at me like that...

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Vaulting clouds

Vaulting clouds

A description of a visit to the Lascaux Caves yields this celestial simile for a soaring natural roof. The first room, called the room of the bulls,...

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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.

Death-haunted aubade

Death-haunted aubade

This triologism emerges from Seamus Heaney's imagining how Philip Larkin would have written The Divine Comedy, triggered by his reading of Larkin's...

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Clay-floored foetor

Clay-floored foetor

This humble and humbling triologism is from Seamus Heaney's eloquent commentary on a moving poem by Derek Mahon, 'A Disused Shed in Co. Wexford',...

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Perfect teeth

Perfect teeth

Something simply pearl-fect about these teeth, and a neat simile to describe the darting in and out of an endlessly worked toothpick. ... the...

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Sea-raddled limestone

Sea-raddled limestone

Unusual word and usage, 'raddled', and particularly as a simile for hard, grey, hole-riddled bread. God protect one's teeth. Some went on nibbling...

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A fine wine

A fine wine

What a wonderful scene, a simple lunch washed down with a local wine the colour of molten amber, and intriguingly, 'pumice-bedded'.  Savour another...

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Sea-drenched wind

Sea-drenched wind

I re-discover this triologism as we emerge from days of rain-drenched wind, waking up to a lush-verdant garden and landscape.   I also like the...

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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.

A deceit, a descent and a parliament

A deceit, a descent and a parliament

As you may know, I have a soft spot for imaginative collective nouns, and although I'd come across 'parliament' for owls, and love the whooshing...

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....

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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