I’d like to say a few words

         “I would like to say a few words.  And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment!  Tweak!”    

                        —Professor Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

I’d like to say a few words too. Polydactyly. Pulchritudinous. Peroration. Aplomb. Words that exist but aren’t frequently used, yet each with a specific meaning.  With one well-chosen word we can accurately sum up how something looked, tasted, felt, seemed.  We can give clarity to dull thoughts in the same way that precise diction gives clarity to our speech.  By the way, the first meaning of the word ‘diction’ is word choice. Clarity is another good word, meaning “clearness or lucidity as to perception or understanding; freedom from indistinctness or ambiguity.” (My thanks to dictionary.com for the definition.)

When words are chosen thoughtfully and well a poem can hit us with the force of a Mack truck.  One such example for me is the poem below by Emily Dickinson:

After Great Pain, A Formal Feeling Comes

After great pain, a formal feeling comes—

The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs—

The stiff Heart questions was it He, that bore,

And Yesterday, or Centuries before?

The Feet, mechanical, go round—

Of Ground, or Air, or Ought—

A Wooden way,

Regardless grown,

A Quartz contentment, like a stone—

This is the Hour of Lead—

Remembered if outlived,

As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow—

First – Chill – then Stupor – then the letting go—

I’ve never sat in an English class and heard a professor talk about this poem.  Perhaps I am all wrong in the meaning I take from this poem, but I get slammed with the feeling that Dickinson is describing what happens after a loved one dies. The way people experience the shock of loss that holds them through the funeral while “nerves sit ceremonious like tombs” and a “stiff heart” questions.  I’ve experienced this feeling and I’ve witnessed it. I witnessed it just this fall after the death of my aunt, who, ironically, loved the poetry of Emily Dickinson.

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About debbiewritesstuff

I am a wife and mom in Minnesota with more than enough things to think about! For the past two years I have served with AmeriCorps, last year I helped children from grades K-3 with their reading through Minnesota Reading Corps. This past school year I taught social and emotional skills to preschool children through the LEAP Initiative in Southern Minnesota. I've been working on my own writing endeavors for a little while now: a novel that I have put on the backburner and poetry. I have a Master's degree Counseling and Psychological Services. I love history, family stories, taking pictures, singing in the church choir, reading, tracing the family tree, and oh, yes writing. I also love 'likes' and comments on my blog and I am tickled when someone chooses to 'follow me.'
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2 Responses to I’d like to say a few words

  1. Hello just wanted to gve you a quick heads upp and let
    youu know a few of the pictures aren’t loading correctly.
    I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue.
    I’ve tried itt inn two different browsers and oth show tthe same outcome.

    Like

  2. Thanks for letting me know. All the pictures are showing up for me, but I’ll have my husband load the page and see if he can.

    Like

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