This article was originally published on The Editors’ Weekly, the blog of Editors Canada.
I asked people on Twitter about words they love irrationally much. I got quite a few responses. Actually, I got so many that when I tried to retweet them all, Twitter finally told me I had reached my daily tweet limit. And did again the next day.
The words that people love irrationally much are many and varied. But a few words came up again and again, and it’s interesting to see what they have in common. Continue reading
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Betwixt the dawning and the day it came
Upon me like a spell,
While tolled a distant bell,
A wondrous vision but without a name
In pomp of shining mist and shadowed flame,
Before me seemed to open awful Space,
And sheeted tower and spire
With forms of shrouded ’tire
Arose and beckoned with unearthly grace,
I felt a Presence though I saw no face
But the dark rolling fire.
So begins “The Beatific Vision” by Frederick William Orde Ward. Had I presented but the first line, you would have known already ’twas poesy. First line? First word, in sooth! Just as there are words that let you know you’re reading a news article (temblor, pontiff), there are words that declare poetry. Poetry! And tho this bit of rime lay ’twixt the pages of an ancient tome (well, 1927) that declared on its cover no more than “The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse” (the most mystical thing about which being how I come to have it – I think I know, but in recollection I feel a Presence but see no face), had I met it on a glowing screen I would still have known. Continue reading