Sunday, February 16, 2020

Arlene Corwin writes

Friend Thesaurus

The writer’s friend, 
A blend of possibilities and inspiration.
Thesaurus, dictionary -
Whomsoever you may be.
You may be shy,
          unable to express but haltingly,
Verbally restricted or constricted.
Stumbling, jumbling up idea and flow,
Noticing that when you sit
The things you know and feel ‘in here’
Become immediately clear
And you can write with style,
All the while the face a smile;
A ‘freebee’* as an old friend used to call it.
I call it ability.

You may be face-blind, absent-minded,
Abstracted, scatterbrained,
But when you’ve paper, pen you’re won-
Published, praised, commended,
Held in high regard.
You can create!
For goodness sake, you write!
You can bring to life a whole new world
Without having to communicate,
Or state illuminations now unfurled
Which formerly were coiled, twirling round inside that brain.
You’re articulate on this new, wholly other plane.

If you’ve nothing much to say -
Well, that’s a different story.
But if you’ve got the bent to write day, night or dawn,
Put it down!  
You’ll find you’ve not had so much fun
Since  your day one when eight or so,
You wrote, though slowly
Putting youthful concepts into poetry.

Use your friends!
They’re there to end 
Those agonies
Inhibiting potentialities.
*freebee; something you get for nothing.  The ‘old friend’ was Teddy Charles, well known jazz vibraphonist.

1 comment:

  1. The word "thesaurus" comes from the Greek "thesauros" (treasure, treasury, storehouse). In the 1st century Philo Byblius was the 1st to compose a dictinary of synonyms; an extant epitome ("Peri homoion kai diaphoron lexeon," On the Differences of Synonymous Expressions) was composed in the 4th century by Ammonius Grammaticus. In the 4th century Amarasimha compiled the "Namalinganushasanam" (instruction concerning nouns and gender), popularly known as the "Amarakosha" (Treasury of Amara); written in verse form, the 1st part dealt with words pertaining to gods, the 2nd with words about earth, towns, animals, and humans, and the 3rd with words related to grammar and other miscellaneous words. In 1668 bishop John Wilkins of Chester published "An Essay towards a Real Character, and a Philosophical Language" which included an "Alphabetical Dictionary." This work's semantic arrangement was followed by physician Peter Mark Roget who began compiling synonyms in 1805, eventually (1852) resulting in the "Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases."


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