7:47 a.m. –Atlanta
listening to Christmas carols — I’ll be doing that a lot
Hello, everyone. I hope your past week was satisfactory. I am back from my brother’s new home in Florida and I must say I am a wee bit jealous. His house sits on the 16th hole of a golf course — separated from his large, enclosed, porch by a large pond. While there, I watched an anhinga (snake neck bird) drying his wings on a concrete outcrop a couple of yards from where I sat; a kingfisher regularly subdues his catch on the same outcrop; the sand-hill cranes run a daily operetta; a couple of cormorants swam by; and a blue heron kept watch. I hated to leave.
However, there are poems to write and today we shall play with a word, much as we did with ‘flannel’. I love words. I love that when I look up a word I know, I find other meanings I am not aware of. I love that denotation and connotation can take words to a whole different place. I love finding a word’s origin and tracing how it became what it means now.
Take abandon. Wonderful word. It started with the Latin for proclamation: ‘You will allow anyone who wants to use your land for grazing, to do so.’ It took me a few moments to translate that to: ‘You will abandon your land…’. We have the word now in two forms, a verb and a noun, with slightly different connotations. To abandon a task, a relationship, a sinking ship, is to give up on it. To give oneself to something — joy, grief, dancing — with abandon is to give in to it.
Give up, or give in, which do you want? The abandoning of something is rarely positive; the giving in to something is often positive. Both can be humourous. Below, I list the different meanings of each word. Note how many nuances there are. As you read the list, jot notes of anything that passes through your mind. Anything. Then decide what you want to write about and how you want to write it. Give to us a poem.
1. leave, strand, ditch, leave behind, walk out on, forsake, jilt, run out on, throw over, turn your back on, desert, dump, leave high and dry, leave in the lurch
2. stop, drop, give up, halt, cease, cut out, pack in
3. give up, resign from, yield, surrender, relinquish, renounce, waive, cede, forgo, abdicate
4. evacuate (takes ship as object) quit, withdraw from, vacate, depart from
1. recklessness, dash, wildness, wantonness, unrestraint, careless freedom
2. indulge in, give way to, yield to, wallow in, give free rein to, lose yourself in, give yourself up to
I shall see you Thursday for links, or something; Friday for the week’s roundup of prompts; and next Tuesday for another prompt. I am off to read poems from last week — no, I have not forgotten you!
Happy writing, all.