7:45 a.m. — Atlanta
listening to E Ho’i I Ka Pili sung by Keali’i Reichel
Hello, all. How are you? Well, or as well as can be, I hope. Let’s play with a word. It has been a while, but it’s one of my favourite exercises. The words I choose are ones that come to me while I am reading, watching TV, playing video games, anything but purposely looking for an interesting word. The word will be in front of me and start a train of thought, or, by some remote mechanism triggered by what I am doing, it will pop into my head and start the train of thought. The words are always ones I know well, but that, when I head for the dictionary, make me think ‘Huh. I didn’t know that meaning’.
Today’s word, cast, before I even reached the dictionary, had produced this: cast on/cast off; acting cast; cast stones, a glance, pots, your lot, a fishing line, dice; forecast; typecast; broken arm, or leg, cast. To this I added cast, as in a shade of colour and a cast in the eye, both from a brief etymology entry. The OED tells us there are 42 distinct noun meanings… distinct… and 83 verbal ones, not to mention sub-definitions.
My favourite online dictionary, both for thoroughness and the way they structure the presentation of a word is freedictionary.com, so that’s where I am sending you for your resource.
As with previous words we have played with, there are many ways you can go:
1] Don’t go to the dictionary but spend some time ruminating over the word; you might even freewrite your ruminations. Think about the denotations and connotations of the word cast, for you. Choose one, or a thread, around which to cast your poem (I couldn’t resist).
2] Go to the dictionary link I have given you. Cast your eyes (I know, I know, but it’s that kind of word) down the page. You will notice they have a fair number of the amount of meanings the OED mentions. Choose one, or two, that sparks an idea and go with it.
3] Scroll down further to the Thesaurus section. Wander through this richness and choose one of the meanings of cast, along with its several synonyms and write a poem using as many of the different words as you can — without the poem sounding silly. For example, using several of: dart, dash, fling, heave, hurl, hurtle, launch, pitch, shoot, shy, sling, throw, toss.
4] Similar to #3, make your way to the Thesaurus section and choose six to eight different synonym meanings and use them in a poem. This one is my particular favourite as an exercise. You might end up with a list like: stamp, hurtle, shape, contrive, stray, range, press. All of these are in the Thesaurus for cast.
5] Compose a poem remixed from words and phrases on the page.
6] Follow your own idea.
Have fun. I look forward to seeing how you play with this word. I’m heading back to the dictionary. I’ll see you Thursday for links and things; Friday for the week’s prompts roundup; and next Tuesday for another of my prompts.
Happy writing, everyone.