The Worldwide Weblog of Donald Pincher

by Joshua Gaskell

Tag: Poetry

Saturday, 4th February 2017

People on Twitter who spell their names all lower-case. To paraphrase Kingsley Amis on people who write onto as one word: I have no great objection, though I have found by experience that no one persistently using lower-case when typing his own name writes anything much worth reading. Amis goes on:

There seems to be a similar connection, or lack of one, between starting lines of verse with a lower-case letter and inability to write a worth-while (not worthwhile) poem.


Tuesday, 1st November 2016

A birthday divination rhyme for Twitter:

Monday’s child has #Motivation,
Tuesday’s too has #Motivation,
Wednesday’s child is full of #Wisdom,
Thursday’s child has got some #Thoughts,
Friday’s child is loving and #Feeling,
Saturday’s outfit at #Night is revealing;
And a child that’s born on a Sabbath #Funday,
Is blithe and bonny, and good and #Gay.

Thursday, 6th October 2016

A Short Dictionary for the Metrically Challenged Poet (words labelled ‘stress variable’ in the OED):

  • devolatilised: ‘[made] less volatile’
  • masthead: ‘The title, motto, or similar device, of a newspaper or journal’
  • overlier: ‘a beggar who exacts lodging at farmhouses’
  • stay-put: ‘A refraining from movement or travel’
  • ultralight: ‘Extremely lightweight’
  • umpteenth: ‘used of something repeated unbearably or irritatingly often’
  • understatement: ‘The quality of being understated’
  • wired-in: ‘Designating behaviour and activity that is innate’
  • X-linked: ‘being or determined by a gene that is carried on the X chromosome’
  • Y-linked: ‘being or determined by a gene that is carried on the Y chromosome’

Wednesday, 2nd September 2015

Another OED quiz: identify the writer of whose each of the following was ‘a favourite word’:

  1. batful, adj. Of pasture-land: Good for the sustenance of flocks and herds; feeding, fattening; fertile in pasture.
  2. Dasein, n. In Hegelian philosophy: existence, determinate being.
  3. misrecollect, v. To be mistaken in one’s recollection; to have a wrong or imperfect recollection.
  4. pilcher, n. A term of abuse for: a person considered worthless, contemptible, or insignificant.
  5. swermer, n. A sectarian, fanatic.

Writers: Jeremy Bentham (philosopher, jurist, reformer), Michael Drayton (poet), John Fletcher (playwright), Johann Wolfgang Goethe (poet, dramatist, novelist), Martin Luther (theologian, founder of the German Reformation).


Answers placed overpage.

Pages: 1 2

Tuesday, 8th July 2014

Thinking about Jeremy Paxman’s recent comments on poetry, it occurs to me that they’re as apposite when applied to that other great art form, social media marketing, whose self-confessed grail is, borrowing Paxman’s phrase, ‘to engage with ordinary people’:

I think [social media marketing] has really rather connived at its own irrelevance […] It seems to me very often that [social media marketers] now seem to be talking to other [social media marketers] and that is not talking to people […] It’s the general public that [they] have got to start engaging with. […] I’d like to see some sort of Inquisition…

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