n. the glint of goodness inside people, which you can only find by sloshing them back and forth in your mind until everything dark and gray and common falls away, leaving behind a constellation at the bottom of the pan—a rare element trapped in exposed bedrock, washed there by a storm somewhere upstream.
pronunciation | “bi-blE-‘oth-e-“ker-E
pronunciation | “ep-an-or-‘thO-sis\
here’s a bonus word for today to make up for allowing unpleasantness to make it onto the blog, and as a promise that I’ll avoid it in the future. I’m sorry! back to business.
pronunciation | \I-‘rEn-ic\ (eye-REEN-ik)
pronunciation | \or-O-tund\ (OAR-oh-tund)
n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.
Arabic – Both morbid and beautiful at once, this incantatory word means “You bury me,” a declaration of one’s hope that they’ll die before another person because of how difficult it would be to live without them.
n. the smallest measurable unit of human connection, typically exchanged between passing strangers—a flirtatious glance, a sympathetic nod, a shared laugh about some odd coincidence—moments that are fleeting and random but still contain powerful emotional nutrients that can alleviate the symptoms of feeling alone.
n. the disappointment of being unable to fly, unable to stretch out your arms and vault into the air, having finally shrugged off the ballast of your own weight and ignited the fuel tank of unfulfilled desires you’ve been storing up since before you were born.
chilling cinematic moments when hungry sharks chomp on underwater aluminum cages, filled with divers, during TV news stories and so-called documentaries.
n. the dream versions of things in your life, which appear totally foreign but are still somehow yours—your anteschool, your antefriends, your antehome—all part of a parallel world whose gravitational pull raises your life’s emotional stakes, increasing the chances you’ll end up betting everything you have.
(a-LIT-uh-RAY-shuhn): a pattern of sound that includes the repetition of consonant sounds. The repetition can be located at the beginning of successive words or inside the words. Poets often use alliteration to audibly represent the action that is taking place. For instance, in the Inferno, Dante states: “I saw it there, but I saw nothing in it, except the rising of the boiling bubbles” (261). The repetition of the “b” sounds represents the sounds of bubbling, or the bursting action of the boiling pitch. In addition, in Sir Phillip Sidney’s Astrophel and Stella, the poet states: “Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite” (Line 13). This repetition of the ”t” sound represents the action of the poet; one can hear and visualize his anguish as he bites the pen. Also in Astrophel and Stella, the poet states, “Oft turning others’ leaves, to see if thence would flow, / Some fresh and fruitful showers upon my sunburn’d brain” (7-8). Again, the poet repeats the “fr” sounds to emphasize the speaker’s desire for inspiration in expressing his feelings. Poets may also use alliteration to call attention to a phrase and fix it into the reader’s mind; thus, it is useful for emphasis. Therefore, not only does alliteration provide poetry or prose with a unique sound, it can place emphasis on specific phrases and represent the action that is taking place.