Further Definitions


I keep coming back to my fascination with etymology: why our language is constructed and used in the way it is. Writing poetry about words: I am sorry.



If words are mysteries, they are also historical.

After all, “Enigma” derives its form

From the Greek ainos – that is to say, fable.

That fable became a riddle, over time:


They are all as much puzzles as they are exposition.

The way we build them, that is stranger still.

“Structural integrity” to the anarchist

Is laughable, almost hateful contradiction.


“Besotted,” though, from the drunken sot, so sodden

With red-lipped affection, he lost his senses to it.

I would like to discover counter-historical

Etymologies, though: perhaps assert


That “Adoration” should mean, Making golden;

“Delight,” in us, should mean To make you shine.

In so doing, I could solve each old enigma

And make a delight of it, redefinition.


3 thoughts on “Further Definitions

  1. Dear James,

    Wow! This is a good one. Great to read aloud (just read it to Gerald as he finishes wolfing dowwn his wood pigeon) and I shall reread and share it with pleasure. Perhaps, with your permission, to my book group?

    Many thanks! Love from Gran

    Sent from my iPad


  2. And just been enjoying it again. Such satisfying and beguiling etymology. I love it! Gran

    Sent from my iPad


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