Thursday, March 15, 2007

Poetry Thursday--a new word.

This week’s prompt is to select a random word that is unfamiliar, and define it through a poem. The definition is a made up one; based on one’s own intuition of the word’s meaning. To find a word I opened up the dictionary to two random pages and wrote down the words I didn’t know. I found this way: firkin, fisc, podesta, pogonia, poilu, poincian, poind. The word I chose was pogonia, partly for the sound of it, and partly because, by sheer coincidence it falls in the dictionary right after poetry. Here is my offering.

Poetry in Paradise

The day is hot and humid.
The air hangs heavily over the plaza.
A church bell tolls the noon hour.

Enter the stranger.
Pale skin and freckles mark him as foreign.
As does the phrase book he carries.

He approaches the lone on-looker,
A woman lounging over a cigarette in a café.
He struggles with the language.

“Senorita, donde esta la Playa Santa?”
Lifting a languid hand, she points.
“There. Towards Pogonia.”

Her English is perfect.
Relieved, he thanks her and continues.
Santa Isabel resumes its siesta.

I am traveling to Puerto Rico in two days. This clearly guided my use of Spanish and references to the tropics. The actual definition of pogonia is:
Any of a genus (Pogonia) of terrestrial orchids of the North Temperate Zone. They have terminal solitary flowers with a crested lip.
Definition found in Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Fifth Edition, 1948. I’ve had this dictionary since I was a kid. It has a lot of memories attached to it.


Kathe said...

Wow. When you first mentioned the word "pogonia", my immediate thought was that it sounded like a flower (a cross between a petunia and a begonia).

Terminal solitary flowers, huh? Kind of reminds me of a certain someone...only this person isn't quite "flowery".

Enjoy your vacation. (Forget yesterday's email.)

gautami tripathy said...

It does define the word somewhat.


Beaman said...

Your poem conjures up in my mind a romantic village in Puerto Rico. A Spanish-like atmosphere which I am more familiar with. Very nice poem.

Attila The Mom said...

Hope you have a wonderful time and take lots and lots of fabulous pictures to share!

tongue in cheek said...

Have fun on your trip.
I imagine your dictionary giggling alongside of you as you were trying to find a word you didn't know.

Regina Clare Jane said...

Wonderful use of the word... I wonder if there might be a Pogonia somewhere in the world... maybe even in P.R.?! Have a great time there!

Debo Blue said...

Have a wonderful time in PR! Can't wait to see the pictures of the beach, the ruins and the people.

Ps-loved the poem.

Kimberley McGill said...

I have great memories of Puerto Rico from many years ago. It would be interesting to know what has changed and what has stayed the same.

I am new to Poetry Thursday - its been a pleasure stopping by.

Crafty Green Poet said...

You set the scene beautifully here - it feels very cinematic and I want to know what happens next....