Friday, July 20, 2018

Looks Can Fool You, 3


het·ero·nym

Noun: one of two or more homographs [words that are spelled the same]
that differ in pronunciation and meaning
(such as a bass voice and bass, a fish)
First Known Use: circa 1889

3: axes

Paul Bunyan had some axes—but
He knew no math—he couldn’t count.
He wailed "Oh, I'm stuck in a rut!"
When he could not find some amount.

The axes of his discontent
Combined to make him feel a fool.
And so he roared (he had to vent!)
And wished he’d not goofed off in school.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Looks Can Fool You, 2


het·ero·nym

Noun: one of two or more homographs [words that are spelled the same]
that differ in pronunciation and meaning
(such as a bass voice and bass, a fish)
First Known Use: circa 1889

2: august/August

As August nears, we’ve cause to pause
To think of summer’s breath—
It’s an august occasion when
The summer feels its death.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Looks Can Fool You, 1


het·ero·nym

Noun: one of two or more homographs [words that are spelled the same]
that differ in pronunciation and meaning
(such as a bass voice and bass, a fish)
First Known Use: circa 1889


1: attribute

To whom can we attribute this?
How can a single word
Be said not one but two “right” ways?
That attribute’s absurd!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Looks Can Fool You: Introduction


het·ero·nym

Noun: one of two or more homographs [words
that are spelled the same]
that differ in pronunciation and meaning
(such as a bass voice and bass, a fish)
First Known Use: circa 1889

Introduction
(careful: unusual rhythm for me—it’s anapestic: duh-duh-DUH)

In the wild world of words—for each her and each him—
There’s the challenge proposed by the heteronym.
These are words which, we see, look exactly the same—
Like some twins who somehow also share the same name.

Yes, these heteronyms—they are words spelled alike—
But pronounced different ways. (Let’s now all go on strike!)
And so off we now go on a journey (of sorts)
Through these heteronyms—most exciting of sports!

Yes, each heteronym gets a “poem”—its day.
And we’ll try to stay sane as we move on our way.
It’s a dangerous trip, and I’ll make this so plain:
It’s a journey that really might drive you insane!

Monday, July 16, 2018

101 Poems: Afterword


Favorite Poems Throughout My Life
Finis

“Our revels now have ended”—yes, and, well,
If “revels” seems a little strong, just tell
Me and I’ll change it to a word that might
Appeal to you a little more, all right?

Whatever word I use—or here employ—
Cannot convey the mixture of my joy
At having finished and, of course, regret
That now I need a series new—you bet!

So soon—tomorrow morning!—I will start
Another series, and—be still, my heart—
I’ll once again devote some time each day
To rhyming what it is I have to say!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

101 Poems, Number 1


Favorite Poems Throughout My Life


1: “Our revels now are ended,” speech from The Tempest, 4.1, 1612, by William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

It’s Prospero who says these words—
The Tempest—what a play!
Among my favorites by the Bard—
I’d watch it every day.

It is a speech I memorized—
And back when I retired,*
I’d planned to say it to each class
As classroom time expired.

But (funny thing) when I began,
I stopped. It wasn’t fears.
No, I just could not say the words
Because of all the tears.

I didn’t even try that day
In classes later on:
I knew just what would happen then—
I’d try—and I’d be gone.

But I have tried to keep these words—
Rehearse them every week.
I might just, well, retire again—
And need to weep a creek!

*From Western Reserve Academy, June 2011

Link to lines.  I know from “Our revels now are ended” to “is rounded with a sleep.”

Saturday, July 14, 2018

101 Poems, Number 2


Favorite Poems Throughout My Life


2: “Mending Wall,” in North of Boston (1914), by Robert Frost (1874–1963)

My mother loved this poem, so
I learned it when she still was here.*
And driving through the woods, you know,
I’d say it to her when we would near

A wall of rocks that we could see
Back in the woods, close to the road.
She always loved Frost’s poetry,
And so I looked at her; I slowed;

And started in: “Something there is
That doesn’t love a wall.” I’m sure
She was surprised, at first. (No whiz
Was I, a lad. I found the cure!)

But now I cannot say these words
And fail to think of Mother’s eyes—
They darted up like startled birds
When I began—her pure surprise.

*She died on March 10, 2018, at age 98.