threnody

Today, a poem on threnody, which is a song of mourning, from Greek θρηνῳδία.

A wail, a wave, a melody,
a singing throng, a mourning song,
a lilt of loss, a threnody,

enthralling, throttling, memory
relief and peace of grief release,
a pyre of choir, a threnody,

the seamstress of humanity
to rip the skin and stitch within,
a thread, a threat, a threnody.

forelsket

“Forelsket” by Ele Davis

I can’t help falling in love. With words. With art. With artful words. With wordful art. So, with Ele Davis’s permission, I’m sharing with you one more of her paintings and word choices that I saw at The Gentry in Cochrane. It is a particularly enamored, smitten word, and a subject painted lovingly, with all the red and blue shades of the heart. All of which says forelsket. Continue reading

solivagant

“Solivagant” by Ele Davis

Do you go alone? Do you step out the door – of your home, your hotel, your hostel, your hospital – driven by some vague motive, and put foot ahead of foot, seeing the street or the trail stretch ahead of you, the buildings or trees bleeding past in perspective, wanting to move and keep moving, to be the river through life? To see people and other creatures and walk through the waves of their breath and feel the hum of their bodies and minds as they move past? To wonder as you wander out under the sky? Are you thirsty for everything and nothing to be significant? Are you solivagant? Continue reading

Pronunciation tip: Banff

Over the holidays I was in Banff, where I spent an important part of my formative years, and I thought I should do a pronunciation tip. What did I choose? WapitiNorquay? Kootenay? Mount Lefroy? Nope, something trickier: Banff.

Oh, you know how to say “Banff.” You do! No one gets it wrong, unless they’re doing it on purpose or don’t speak English comfortably. But the odds are very good that you don’t know how you’re actually saying it. Guess what: This is really a phonology tip!

illecebrous

Illecebrous, a head-and-shoulders painting of a woman on a multicoloured striped background

“Illecebrous” by Ele Davis

Beauty is useful but not necessary for a good artistic effect. There are many works of art that are beautiful, of course, but there are others that are not. What they all have in common, if they are effective, is that they make us stop and look, and look again: they draw us in, entice us to explore further, to see how deep our minds can get into them. It is like a glass of a well-made wine, or an interesting look on a person’s face, or a word that just charms us: there is more, and more, and more, and we follow it as it lures us onward.

Effective art, in short, is illecebrous. Continue reading

don

My friend Don, in gay apparel.

This time of year, don shows up a lot in a popular Christmas carol. I’m sure you know which one I mean. Continue reading

Jellicle

This is Jaggie, the gumbie cat

A couple of nights ago, I saw the musical Cats for the first time. That may seem rather late, given how long it’s been around, and given that my wife even had a nickname among some of her skater friends based on it. But so it goes. Continue reading