Daily Archives: May 15, 2012

Joan of Arc

I am taking a couple of weeks off and am happy to present tastings by some of the avid word tasters who regularly read my word tasting notes. Today’s tasting is by AdoAnnie.

Word tasting, I have so enjoyed the words I’ve sipped, slurped, gnawed and crunched here on Sesquiotica. My only and very tiny critique is that they have been doled out mostly one at a time. I love the buffet of words, the well placed adverb and verb, verb and noun, adjective and noun that flow from the page to the brain, from writing to image like a beautifully prepared dish in which the spices and herbs bloom on the tongue. Gourmand, I know, I know, especially with a run-on sentence. But I adore a well written sentence.

“It was a dark and stormy night.”

“The four young faces on which the firelight shone brightened at the cheerful words . . .”

“Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.”

Oh, the spell-check choked on that one. But I can see them gimbling and gyring in the wabe. The taste is alluring and sensual, beckoning to be sampled again and again.

So what does this have to do with Joan of Arc? It was the news reporter this morning, a woman who usually lays out a tasty, well seasoned array of words to sample and chew on. She was reporting on Marine Le Pen, who represents the National Front, a political group that lost out in the French presidential primaries but has a large enough voting block to swing the election to either of the top runners. The reporter said that Ms Le Pen was “. . . standing in front of the statue of Joan of Arc in full armor and holding a sword to make her statement . . .” The plate of buffet words dropped from my hand and went crashing to the floor. Everything stopped and I had to listen to the mental playback over and over. I don’t know what Ms Le Pen had to say, only that she was in full armor when she said it and holding a sword.

I was left with a sharp tinny aftertaste like hard tap water and the urge to reach inside the radio and shake the reporter. It reminds me of a story in our local paper. There had been a murder and the reporter wrote that the neighbors had known the man who had been shot for years. Possibly they used him for target practice? It’s too bad that he wasn’t as well armored as Ms Le Pen or Joan of Arc.