Have Dictionary Will Dance


For We Write Poems prompt: Make you own prompt

Prompt: Using the Dictionary or Thesaurus, look up and find new words to add to your vocabulary, then use them in creating a poem.

Have Dictionary Will Dance

She’s an outlier, different
from most folks in the nabe.
Spends time, like South American
paca, burrowing down beneath
ground of words, seeking to learn,
original meanings.

Draws labanotations, new gyrations
that allow her fresh dance with liquid
language, to music of fain cachinnation.
No longer needs abatis or hauberk
of youth, flies with imagination yet,
like kagu remains, stays right here
where she’s been planted.

Daedal idiolect has set her free
in ways she never dreamed
of being.

Elizabeth Crawford  5/18/11

Notes: Have been doing a new word a day exercise at my other blog: http://1sojournal.wordpress.com/  This poem is made up using eleven of the new words ( in italics), I have found over the last two weeks. You can go there to find them, or pull out your Dictionary and look them up. Choice is yours.


About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here: http://1sojournal.wordpress.com/ https://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/ http://claudetteellinger.wordpress.com/
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12 Responses to Have Dictionary Will Dance

  1. vivinfrance says:

    Very interesting – prompt and poem. I don’t need an excuse to read the dictionary! I knew four of the words, which says more for the eclectic nature of my reading than for my erudition!

    Viv, I know what you mean. Some of these words, I actually found first in what I was reading at the moment. I believe, if we truly want to grow as writers, a good dictionary is essential. Thanks for your generous words,



  2. Well done. Using the words you have been using in Wordplay. I like it!

    Annell, it surprised me how easily many of them came to mind as I was writing this. Some, I had to go back and check for the spelling, not the meanings, lol. Thanks for all of your encouragement,



  3. margo roby says:

    This will be a challenge for me [which means I must try it]. I think it takes a great ear to know what works with unfamiliar and not widely used words. I have a good ear. I shall start training. I like the way the words suit the speaker and love the final stanza.

    Margo, that good ear comes in handy. For the first third of my life, I thought it only applied to music and the singing I did. Then swiftly learned that is an excellent tool for writing as well. Hope you do try and let me know how it turns out,



  4. Tilly Bud says:

    I’m impressed you managed more than one poem with these words. Well done.

    Thanks Tilly Bud, it wasn’t all that difficult, I’ve been swimming with these words for the past two weeks, they’ve become new friends. Glad you enjoyed it,



  5. I like this. I like the prompt. And I like the poem too.

    A few thoughts occurred me. First, I used to read a dictionary for fun when I was younger. In my case, words and their meanings became a special interest. Second…being as poems are doors we can walk through and see what we wish, I read an autistic woman as the subject of this poem…not venturing forth too much social but wrapped up in her world of words (you don’t have to be on the spectrum to be this way, but the way you crafted the story suggests it to me). Third, this would make a damn fine and challenging prompt, to find the little used gems in the process.



    Nicole, substitute an old woman with physical disabilities and the same becomes true. I like the prompt and had fun pulling the poem together, like a wordle of new words. Glad you like it,



  6. Poets United says:

    Nice – you have transformed the dictionary into art. Outliers was such a great start.

    Hi Robb, I found outliers in a forensic mystery I was reading. I have been traveling through the alphabet and that one came along on the day before I needed an “O” word. Love it when that happens. Thanks for stopping in, and the dictionary is art, if one approaches it with the right ear and heart,



  7. neil reid says:

    Good one Elizabeth! Or should I say two, prompt and poem both!

    And more coming to the brim. (like it when it works like that)

    Good prompt certainly, and feeds to another idea which this form perhaps does address very well – integrating foreign languages into a poem too. Wanted to do that for some while but didn’t see just how to do it right. Maybe this. And thanks.

    Also I’ve a little HTML technique regards to what you’re doing here that might interest you. I’ll have to do a little test. Remind me please if I forget. I’ll let you know.

    Thanks, Neil

    Hi Neil, I’ve been remiss in sending you prompts, will have to start thinking in those veins again. Glad you like both. I’d be in a lot of trouble with the foreign language however. I rely a lot on sound and language is an art that depends a great deal on hearing. I’m sure there are things online that would make that much simpler. Thanks for your generous response,



  8. pamelasayers says:

    Elizabeth, I love it! What writer doesn’t rely on that handy dictionary. Beautifully executed piece, and I love the prompt idea.


    Thanks Pamela, glad you enjoyed it. I’m sure there are writers out there who seldom use a dictionary. I didn’t when I first began, but have learned to never get too far from one.



  9. Yousei Hime says:

    New words are absolutely one of my favorite sources of inspiration. I don’t think I knew a single one in your poem. Challenged. Yay!

    Secret Yousei? I wouldn’t have known them either except I’m doing one new word a day at my other site. I’m enjoying it, but one must use them or lose them. And that happens quite fast, I’m afraid. Glad you enjoyed,



  10. Irene says:

    Aargh I don’t think I know any of the italicized words except outlier. But I think it will be a fun prompt to do. Your theme is pretty consistent though.

    Irene, thanks, but I’m just learning the words, so they were within easy reach. I think it’s a worthwhile exercise to do, and am actually learning by doing it,



  11. wayne says:

    nicely done Elizabeth…..who needs a dictionary…..i just make up the words…thanks for this

    Thanks Wayne, I’ve been known to do the same,



  12. Mr. Walker says:

    Elizabeth, a great idea for us wordsmiths. I always enjoy stumbling across new words and ideas in the dictionary. I also find great stuff in encyclopedias. I will have to check out your other blog; I have been remiss.


    Hi Richard, glad to see you back. Does this mean you are freer for the summer months? And you have not been remiss. You can’t be everywhere, can you? When I first came to poetry, I read somewhere that Sylvia Plath never wrote a poem without using numerous dictionaries and thesauruses and that she spent more time looking up words than writing them. In my late thirties infancy of wisdom, I thought that smacked of insecurity. Now I do a Slyvia whenever I get stuck. Some of us learn late, lol,



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