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These Are a Few of My Favourite Things

These Are a Few of My Favourite Things

I thought I'd share a few of my favourite words with you. I'm not sure that I've used any of these in a poem before, but never say never.

Fluorescence and phosphorescence (nice rounded letters and two ph's ... you could hoist flags on those h's). My final year degree project was about fluorescence [the Stern-Volmer Quenching of Rhodamine-6G) so I have a spiritual connection with fluorescence. Both words sound like they are a slow oozing of light, rather than a flare of brilliant intensity, and those are the illuminations I seek in poetry.

phenomenon and oblong, schism and acerbic. The first two sound saucily curvy, and the second two are just the opposite, spiky and edgy. Oblong sounds like it is a looooong word, so much gentler in attitude than the obnoxious rectangle which sounds like it will nick your arm if you brush up alongside it. It's best to try and intermingle these types of poems in your collection, leaving the reader guessing about what on earth is coming next.

I love acronyms that have settled into regular words like maser and laser and radar and lidar, all of which made guest appearances in my chemistry degree course modules. The two most frequently encountered are laser (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation), with maser being the broadly equivalent microwave version, and radar (Radio Detection and Ranging), with lidar being the equivalent using light. I dream of inventing a poetry laser, though to what purpose I have no idea.

Finally I must not forget words that sound like they have been squeezed into an ink blot, condensing their being into a gloopy outpouring, the highly technical splodge being the greatest of these. That is your word for the week, splodge — use it in any line where you find an opportunity.

Published inPoetry


  1. Giles, I hope the ink sploges all over the page this week. For me sploge is a long sounding word, a big fat word.

    Co. Cavan

  2. Thanks for brightening my day, Giles, with your evocative words. I also love splodge. To me it is the cream on a Devon Tea, the wine stain on the linen tablecloth, the green paint on the terracotta tiles.

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