POETRY: the joint expression of the heart and mind


I’ve mentioned before that one of the joys of having coffee every day at Starbucks is the community of writers that gather there spontaneously.  It isn’t a formal group.  Most of us didn’t even know that each other was a writer.   It just sneaks out after several conversations. One of the people with whom I […]

ERRANT: to wander; roam, stray

I believe the first time I ever heard the word “errant” was when we studied Cervantes’ book, Don Quixote, in high school.  It would come back to haunt me when I had to read it in Spanish in a college Spanish Literature course.  Don Quixote, a knight errant, wandered throughout the Spanish countryside attempting to […]

VIRGULE [VUR-gyool]: a short oblique stroke (/) between two words indicating that whichever is appropriate may be chosen to complete the sense of the text in which they occur

When I came across the word virgule I had to admit that I didn’t have a clue as to what it meant.  But, then, when I researched it, I found that it did, indeed, have an important meaning.   But I wouldn’t have guessed that there was a word assigned to it. A virgule is the […]

PERORATION [per-uh-REY-shuh n]: a long speech characterized by lofty and often pompous language.

Every time I hear one of President Roosevelt’s speeches I am struck by the fact that he does little if anything to disguise his elite background.  His speech is that of a man who has had a superb education, was schooled in eloquence, and has a vocabulary of a scholar.  He thinks nothing of dropping […]

REDACT: to revise, edit, or rearrange in proper form

Redact is a word that comes up more and more these days, given the huge number of TV shows that focus on conflict with (and within) government intelligence agencies.   As viewers of these programs we are used to seeing documents on which words and phrases (sometimes whole paragraphs) have been blacked out “for security reasons.”   […]

CONCORD [KON-kawrd]: agreement between things; mutual fitness; harmony.

Not only is this photo to the right a picture of Walden Pond near Concord, Massachusetts, but it is a perfect image of what concord looks like.  That is, the concord  which is defined above.  There’s probably a good reason the City of Concord was named.   It, like Walden Pond, was a place of serenity.   […]