Poetics Serendipity

11 Dec

christmasdividercorner7:45 a.m. –Atlanta

listening to the whistle and hum of the phone as my sister-in-law and I text about Christmas stuff

Hello, everyone. I seem to have gotten my days a trifle mixed. I tried to jump two days when I signed off my last post, so today is not the roundup. Clearly turning 62 traumatised my brain more than I knew. It fell apart Tuesday, but is hauling itself back together.

I don’t know how many of you travel during the holidays, or have guests, or this is the time of year you decorate big time, but my place looks like a storm hit it. Packing the car should be an interesting exercise, as not only are we hauling all our Christmas things (decorations and presents), but suitcases, and as many pre-move items as we can stuff in. Take a few minutes off with me and visit some places I think are fun and interesting.

1] The first is so cool. That was my initial remark on reading the article after my daughter sent me the link. It is the same remark I made a few minutes ago, as I reread it. ‘At Harvard, Technology Resurrects Long-Silent Voices of Poets,’ by Curt Nickisch, tells us that the voices [of poets] on many of these brittle, early records have been dead β€” silenced for nearly a century. They’re too damaged to play. That is, until today… We now possess the technology to do something that no other technology can do, which is to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. Cool, right?

2] This next is one of those things where, because I find it fascinating, you’re getting it. Someone collected photographs of The Very Weird Handwriting of Very Famous Authors. You can live without the collector’s comments, but I found the photographs have an emotional pull for me. I’m willing to bet many of you will be surprised at the time you take looking at the collected pages. You might even try to decipher some of the more difficult handwriting, or haul out a magnifying glass for tiny writing. Me? I might have.

3] I enjoyed The Top 10 Words Invented by Writers and wish its author, Paul Dickson, had made the list longer, but then I’m slightly nutty when it comes to word origins. Dickson says, in his brief intro, that he is interested: specifically in the question of how a coinage makes it into the larger language, especially at a time when the English language seems to have more than enough words to sustain itself. He gives us the how of his ten favourites.

Side note: As Dickson mentions, Shakespeare had a written vocabulary of over 17,000 words, many of which he coined. Because I liked to impart this information to my kids, I know that Charles Dickens had a written vocabulary of about 12, 000. Native English speakers have a written vocabulary of about 1,200 to 1,500 words.

4] I post this article annually to remind those of us addicted to our blogs that there are ways to survive December. Susannah Windsor Freeman, of the blog Write It Sideways, tells us How to Avoid Blogging Burnout During the Holidays.

I will see you tomorrow for the roundup (truly, this time); Tuesday for a prompt; and then not again until the following Tuesday when we will have an image prompt.

Happy writing, all.


Posted by on 11/12/2014 in links, poetry, writing


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6 responses to “Poetics Serendipity

  1. georgeplace2013

    11/12/2014 at 10:33 am

    I thoroughly enjoyed those links. Thanks.

  2. julespaige

    11/12/2014 at 10:39 am

    Have safe travels – I am so looking forward to mine…

    I’ll have to look at the linky things another time. Got both cherubs and one is not feeling too well.
    Long day ahead. I’ll live.

    You know I am always amazed at how some folks always have the same handwriting – mine doesn’t seem to stay the same from one page to the next when I write. Is there such a thing about being too creative?

    • margo roby

      11/12/2014 at 1:07 pm

      Thank you, we will try. took the car in to the dealer yesterday for an all clear.

      The links’ll be there. Survive.

      Mine is the same as it was in sixth grade, although declining with age!

  3. Hannah Gosselin

    11/12/2014 at 11:19 am

    Gems Margo!! Thank you – #2 and #3 piqued my interest especially! Happy day to you poetic friend. πŸ™‚


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