Sunday, August 7, 2016

Sound and Sense, 64

We’re moving next to the homophone: a word pronounced the same as another but differing in meaning, whether spelled the same way or not, as heir and air. So … contronyms are words that have contradictory meanings (sanctiion = approve and disapprove; homophones sound alike but to not mean the same—and often are not spelled the same, either.

1. ewe (noun): a female sheep
2. yew (noun): an evergreen tree or bush with stiff needles and small red berries
3. you (pronoun.): 2nd person personal pronoun, singular and plural

It was beneath the ancient yew
I saw you for the second time.
The first (perhaps you never knew)
Was at the pool—you were sublime!

The third was at your family’s farm—
And you were tending to a ewe.
I thought that there would be no harm
If I could get a closer view.

Mistake. For when you saw me near,
You just recoiled with such dismay
That now in memory a tear
Forms in my eye ’most every day.

But that was then, and this is now,
And we’ve been married many years.
You changed your lovely mind somehow,
And now there are no recent tears!

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