“And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.” Pablo Neruda
“COLLECT WORDS! Buy your own dictionary. Read your dictionary every day. CIRCLE exciting words. The more words you know, the better you will be able to express yourself, your thoughts.” Gwendolyn Brooks
Bumptious. Scrumptious. Resplendent. Gobsmacked. Aura. There are legions of words ripe for the plucking and the page — and the more of them we gather to ourselves, the richer the language we have to share with our readers.
In her wonderful guide, Writing Toward Home, Georgia Heard suggests keeping a notebook and filling it with words you love . “Listen to words spoken around you,” she advises, “write down words from menus, signs, books, newspapers — the more you become aware of the words possible to you, the more abundant your writing will become.”
And to inspire us all, here are some beautiful words about words from the joyful poet Pablo Neruda:
“It’s the words that sing, they soar and descend…I bow to them…I love them, I cling to them, I run them down, I bite into them, I melt them down…I love words so much…The unexpected ones…The ones I wait for greedily or stalk until, suddenly, they drop…Vowels I love…They glitter like colored stones, they leap like silver fish, they are foam, thread, metal, dew…I run after certain words…They are so beautiful that I want to fit them all in my poem…I catch them in mid-flight, as they buzz past, I trap them, clean them, peel them, I set myself in front of the dish, they have a crystalline texture to me, vibrant, ivory, vegetable, oily like fruit, like algae, like agates, like olives…And then, I stir them, I shake them, I drink them, I gulp them down, I mash them, I garnish them, I let them go…I leave them in my poem like stalactites, like slivers of polished wood, like coals, pickings from a shipwreck, gifts from the waves…Everything exists in the word.”
Let’s all catch words “in mid-flight, as they buzz past,” and write on!