As a logophile sometimes I come across a word and fall hopelessly in love with it. Something about the sound, the silky flow, the cognitive joy, and semantic resonance that sparks my desire to explore the language. To live within it’s boundaries. Poets rely on a lexicon of personal word choices that are part of their writer invariant. Diction can be a distinguishing characteristic of style, a unique and deeply personal part of being a poet.
My devotion to polysyllabic, mellifluous sounds may hold no appeal for a poet that loves the crisp, clear notes of monosyllabic offerings. Sometimes we find happiness in the syncopation of variation: juxtapositions of sharp and soft; punctuated and unaccented; and rhythmic and melodic. We want textures so we can run our fingertips along the seam of verses or glide along a perfectly smooth sphere of metaphors. Whatever fires your passion for poetic language is the focal point today.
Diction is such an embedded part of poetry that sometimes we neglect to notice when we’re repeating ourselves. We all have a toolbox of favorites, that when overused, can cause our expressions to stagnate. Today I want you to think about your diction specifically as you compose your poem. In making your word choices consider if they seem familiar. What would it feel like to find another choice? Try building a poem around your favorite word or collecting your vocabulary before writing your verses. Do all your choices add up to create a greater aesthetic whole? Challenge yourself to find a new expression.
Think about what you love about language. Consider the poets whose language you would love to inhabit. Whose diction creates an imaginarium of delights? I don’t mean poets you feel you should admire but those you return to again and again. That give you such sensual pleasure you want to lap up their versus and let them tumble from your own tongue. Be inspired by these poets. Today is about honesty. It’s time to embrace your inner logophile and share your love with the world.
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