Poetry Friday, writing


"Family and Rainstorm" by Alex Colville
“Family and Rainstorm” by Alex Colville – 1955


ubiquitous as water, find words
on cereal boxes, cracker wraps
this pencil, this keyboard
shoes, underwear
beside the road, on your stove
TV remote, light bulb
in the speech cloud above my head
the thought bubble above yours

words have texture and heft
substance, power and cleft
they sing and ring
cling and fling
can be tart or tasty
considered or hasty
with precise aim and tone
they can break a bone

some paint broad strokes
like impressionist art
others are real
as an Alex Colville
complete with summer day
storm clouds

© 2014 by Violet Nesdoly


Tomorrow (January 18th) would be the 235th birthday of Peter Roget, the physician / theologian / lexicographer who compiled the Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases. It was published  in 1852 and went through twenty-eight editions in his lifetime. (He died in 1869) (The Christian Almanac, p. 47).

Thank you, Mr. Roget. I love words and I love your Thesaurus!

Want to find out about more interesting facts about January. Check out the January ’14 Freelance Writers Almanac post on my writer blog. It’s my plan to post an almanac post on the first day of each month this year.

Poetry Friday LogoThis post is part of Poetry Friday, hosted today by Keri at Keri Recommends.

19 thoughts on “Words”

  1. Words “can be tart and tasty” – so true! And that art work by Alex Colville is BEAUTIFUL (or should I say it’s beauteous, handsome, gorgeous, pretty, lovely, graceful, elegant, attractive, inviting, delicate, dainty, refined, fair, personable, comely, seemly, bonny [Scottish], good-looking, well-favored, well-made, well-formed, well-proportioned, shapely or harmonious? 🙂 Thanks for posting both the poem and the painting. And Happy Birthday, Mr. Roget.


  2. LOVE your poem, Violet. What a fabulous celebration of words (I so enjoy rolling each around in my mouth, reading them aloud, tasting and chewing and savoring. Happy Birthday, Roget!


  3. Violet, I always admire your words/poems, but this time you are writing about words! Very special, and the painting, too. I am not a huge art person, but I don’t know this artist-beautiful scene. It reminds me a little of Edward Hopper’s work. Also, I just read a post from Jen Bryant, whose recent picture book is A Splash of Red (about Horace Pippin). She shared that her next book coming out (this fall perhaps?) is about Roget, about his gift to the world, the Thesaurus! I thought that was so great, & then you tell us about his birthday. Thought you’d enjoy knowing!


  4. This rhythm of this poem feels so perfect in my mouth. I can’t even imagine trying to get these words so exactly perfect. And then that last stanza- such a terrific comparison. I don’t kow Colville, I want to go looking for more of his work.


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