lnhammer: Yotsuba Koiwai running - caption: "Enjoy Everything" (enjoy everything)
[personal profile] lnhammer
Let's talk punch-drunk-awake diction -- the dicty words that unfurl the whirl and tumble-turn-twirl the sententious sentence downsideup the stoppedup topdown brain, straying away from the weighted way till they unlock the block, stock, and barrel of nature's inner nature, the instressed inscape, the flashing forth bright insight of the inner sight.

In other words, let's talk about a bird.

"Windhover" is a British dialect word for a kestral, a small falcon that hovers as it hunts -- soaring on the wind if it can, but with wingbeats if it must. And when a young novice studying for his ordination as a Jesuit priest with a penchant for the medieval philosophy of Duns Scotus saw a windhover hover and dive, it became an example of and metaphor for that flash forth of beauty in everything -- and that of God in everything.

The Windhover

To Christ our Lord

I caught this morning morning's minion, king-
    dom of daylight's dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
    Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
    As a skate's heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
    Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird, — the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
    Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!

    No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
    Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermilion.

A few dangerous glosses -- minion: a favorite, an underling; dauphin: prince; rung: ascended in a spiral (a falconry term); wimpling: rippling; chevalier: knight, champion; plough: plow; sillion: a furrow; gall: to crack or chafe. "Dangerous," because if you see a double-meaning in Hopkins, you should probably understand it both ways. For example, in "dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon," the "drawn" can mean the falcon has been limned by the light OR is drawn to the light OR draws the speaker because it's lit -- or probably all of these at once. "Buckle" could be the collapse (dive) of the bird OR the attachment together of the concepts of the previous line -- or both at once, and probably more. But to get you started, those glosses shouldn't be too harmful.

Now reread that. Aloud, I mean. While you could use a recording, I strongly recommend going DIY for this. Get the feel of the words in your mouth, in your throat, in your breast. And listen for that mystic insight that a young man so struggled to express that he strained syntax and sonnet-form, using the best words he could grasp.

(For possible further reading: a guide by Ange Mlinko)

raze: smiling owl and text 'every day is better with BIRDS!' (birds)
[personal profile] raze
For today's contribution to Diction's Dicty Delights, here is a goofy idiom-based romp that is "for the birds" insofar as serious poetry goes. I hope you'll enjoy it anyway :)

Bird is the Word
So little a word
it seems absurd
that four letters contain
so much inferred.

Read on below the cut. )

Optional fun in the comments: What are some of your favorite idioms?

Optional fun in the comments: Share a short poem or verse based on your favorite idiom.
poetree_admin: Paper sculpture of bulbuous tree made from strips of book pages (Default)
[personal profile] poetree_admin
alee_grrl & jjhunter

Let's play a game in the comments today. Offer a prompt by starting a new comment thread with your chosen word or phrase in the subject line. Answer prompts that inspire you with a single sentence using as much alliteration as possible (sometimes it is impossible to have all the words start with the same sound). There are no limits on how many prompts you can offer or answer, and more than one person is welcome to answer a particular prompt.

Or in more appropriate language,
Admins advance an alliterative activity for this association's amusement. Whisper words with which wandering wordsmiths may weave wondrous wordplay. Pick a prompt to play, and structure statements starting with selected suggestions.
An excellent example of elegant expression is this video excerpt from V for Vendetta.
poetree_admin: Paper sculpture of bulbuous tree made from strips of book pages (Default)
[personal profile] poetree_admin
  • diction (dikSHən), noun: the choice and use of words and phrases in speech or writing

  • dicty (dɪkti) AAVE, adjective: snobbish; ostentatiously stylish; pretentious

  • delight (diˈlīt), noun: great pleasure

As detailed in the signup post, this week we dart delightedly into wordplay, word choice, and words themselves as whimsy-worthy of celebration in their own right.

MONDAY: [personal profile] lizcommotion: 'To Dye Today' [poem]

TUESDAY: [personal profile] poetree_admin: Alliterative Amusements [wordplay game]

WEDNESDAY: [personal profile] raze: 'Bird is the Word' [poem]

THURSDAY: Day of silver silence

FRIDAY: [personal profile] lnhammer: Dictioning Hopkins's "The Windhover"

SATURDAY: Day of silver silence II

Last edited 7/28/13 by jjhunter
lizcommotion: white handspun yarn next to various seashells (yarn white handspun)
[personal profile] lizcommotion
(Note: posting this a couple hours early so I don't forget in my state of brain fugue.)

I had a bit of trouble getting into gear for this poem, as I've mostly switched to attempting to use, if not Simple English, then closer-to-Simple-English purely for accessibility reasons for most of my blog posts, etc. (Note: I do not always succeed). So while I sat staring at the screen and wrote a couple stanzas of a poem that was just not me, I changed everything up and decided to pick a topic that is near and dear to my heart: yarn. I spin, and knit, and all manner of fiber things. It's a Thing.

Here, for your enjoyment, is the poem that flowed from the simple choice changing topics made.

To Dye Today
by [personal profile] lizcommotion 

When I delicately dip the handspun yarn

(made with a loving twist and flick of my fingers

by ancient art honed by women of yore)

into the swirling bath of dye

(a sunburst of turmeric, pokeberry vermilion,

Nature’s dyes of every hue, none trumped by King Indigo)

the wool blossoms in the water and

(small fiber scales teased open with vinegar,

the sheepish dragon’s guard relaxed for dyeing)

the yarn transforms: a butterfly in chrysalis.

(I the Alchemist with my quest for God and gold,

or perhaps a hedge witch with my call for healing)
poetree_admin: Paper sculpture of bulbuous tree made from strips of book pages (Default)
[personal profile] poetree_admin
  • diction (dikSHən), noun: the choice and use of words and phrases in speech or writing

  • dicty (diktē), adjective: ostentatiously stylish; pretentious

  • delight (diˈlīt), noun: great pleasure

  • For our next community themed week, we are abandoning any pretense at dignity whatsoever in favor of five fabulous days of unabashed wallowing in words wonderful words. Drawing inspiration from this anon poll of the same name, let's celebrate what makes diction scintillate. In poetry or prose, recording or poetic complement, let's share memories, musings, meetings, meta, mottoes, meanings, meanderings, materials and more - whatever moves you, whatever delights you, whatever you'd like to share that feels fitting for this week's theme.

    If you would like to participate, please comment on this post to claim a particular open slot and briefly tease us with some sense of what you'll post. You may also use the comment section to solicit collaborators for a group post.

    Available days behind the cut )

    Last edited 7/24/13 by alee_grrl


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