Welcome to Poetry Friday! This week, we are fortunate to have the kind and charming Patricia Franz as our host. Patricia offers us a peek at her wish list for Santa this year. Please enjoy visiting all of the Poetry Friday poets at Patricia's blog Reverie.
Recently, I found a massive Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary of The English Language, Unabridged (© 1975) at a book swap.
I picked it up, thinking that I might use its large pages for wrapping paper or art projects, but as I started paging through, I realized that I mightn’t have the heart to shred it. This five-inch-thick behemoth boasts finger notches, speckled page edges, and most importantly that musty old-book smell.
Do you love the smell of books? The first thing I do when browsing in a bookstore is take a deep inhale. Apparently, my dog enjoys “book smell” too because she keeps walking by and sniffing this dictionary. She also sneaks a quick lick if she thinks I'm not looking. I digress.
Among other contents, this relic includes:
- The Indo-European Family Tree of Languages
- An Outline of the History of the English Language
- Sub-dictionaries of: Biography, Geography, Noted Names in Fiction, Mythology, and Legend, Foreign Words and Phrases, and Scripture Proper Names
- Common Abbreviations
- Practical Business Mathematics
- Forms of Address
- Tables of Weights and Measures
- Special Signs and Symbols (Did you know there are symbols for Mercury, Venus, Mars?)
- Presidents of the USA (With a 1975 copyright, how did they know Jimmy Carter would be president in 1977?)
- Vice Presidents and Cabinet Officers
- The Declaration of Independence
- The Constitution of the United States
- A Brief History of Canada (Why only and specifically Canada, I wonder?)
- Charter of the United Nations
- Air Distances between Cities
- Geographical Features of the World
- Commercial and Financial Terms
Phew! No wonder it is so thick.
Also, it contains words. Lots of words.
There are some fun and old-timey words.
Of course, I had to try to mash these (almost) randomly-chosen words into a quick poem:
The Injured Gribble
Whilst perched upon my buckboard bench,
absorbed within a dream,
I came upon an injured gribble,
poppling in a stream*.
He’d clung among his gribble peers –
a glomerous, wet hunk.
Quickly, I discerped the fellow
from that gunky chunk.
I wrapped him scarfwise in my kerchief,
trying not to wrick,
and if you know your gribbles well,
you'll know that was a trick!
Thenadays, we all believed
that gribbles made good pets.
Nowadays, I have to say,
I’m having some regrets.
*Let's assume it was at least a brackish stream, as gribbles live in salt water.
As for the gribble, he's actually kind of cute.
Gribble, © Britannica
Well, the poem leaves something to be desired (it borders on the nonsense poem that I wrote several weeks ago), but it was a fun exercise!
Now, what to do with this brick of a dictionary...