Collect Words

“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!


About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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6 Responses to Collect Words

  1. Words are both powerful and delicious. I’ve said for years I’m having a love affair… with words. Love yours!

    • Hi Ethel,

      Thanks so much — so glad you enjoyed this post!
      I just loved sharing these delicious words with
      all my KWD tribe! Hope all is well and that words
      are pouring from you like honey and you are also
      sharing your many gifts through teaching.

      Write on,

  2. thanks Karin! LOOOVE THIS! I just published my first two eclectic poetry books, ”Catch a Poem by the Tale’ and “LImerick Explosion’ and I even loooove making up my own words.hehe. Gotta love that.

    • Hi Michelle,

      Thanks so much for your lovely note and congratulations on
      your poetry books — I love the titles and will look for them.
      I run a monthly Poetry Study Group at my local library
      in Montclair and I am always looking for new poets to
      share with my fellow passionate poetry lovers!

      Write on,

  3. Bing Chang says:

    “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
    Neruda’s embracing of Maxism’s ideology probably was influenced by the inherent Bible ideology.

  4. Hi Bing,

    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! I also feel that Neruda’s
    beautiful words have a biblical cast to them and like so many writers,
    from Willa Cather to Ernest Hemingway, I think it’s quite likely that
    he cherished the beautiful lyricism of The Bible.

    Write on,

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