"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

Hello Friends!

Friends, Romans, countrymen...y'all. Foodies, gardeners, artists and collectors - let's gather together to share and possibly learn a thing or two in the mix.

Donna Baker

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Literary Minutia


Maybe I should title this daily minutiae.  I have nothing to do today.  It is cold and muddy outside with freezing temps and a wintry mix coming in tomorrow and the next day.  I dislike going outside in this kind of weather.  

So, my day will consist of a little reading, the telly and bathing the dogs in the shower with me.  That's it.  

I have been reading this winter.  In between the Outlander series, which my sister and niece insisted I read, I read a book my son gave me for Christmas.  I had always wondered who Evangeline was (and after reading am still wondering how she became so famous) except for the fact Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote this epic poem about her.

To get to the point of the post, in Evangeline, Longfellow used the word susurrus.  I had to look it up.  I noticed the word again in the Outlander series.  The author has used it 3 (now 5) times in four books of the series.  Who uses that word?  I thought there was no way it was a coincidence and finally in the fourth book of the series, the author wrote a line, "Longfellow couldn't have described it better." Touche.

Well, there are my bits of minutiae for the day.  I don't think you can use the word susurrus in winter.  There will be no whispering, murmuring nor rustling sounds outside here today, or if a tree falls in the forest...


My epitaph  ~  She Thought Too Much


12 comments:

  1. OH, I LOVE that word! I'm sure I've way overused it on my blog, as I'm tempted every time I'm talking about the trees outside in Summer---especially The Tree, which is enormous and has a shade-span way bigger than our house.

    I even thought it one night not long ago, when a candle was making those whispery little pops in the quiet of the house.

    Evan-ge-LINE was one of the stories our English Teacher Emeritus (she'd been there during Daddy's years in school, as well, and lasted way another decade or so after I graduated) was especially fond of. We got into the entire Trail of Tears type history for the Arcadian people, how they came to Louisiana and transformed from staid, prayer-book folk into fun-loving, hard-living Cajuns along the bayous. I don't know if all the other classes did, but one girl in our class had her Mama invite the class to lunch for gumbo and pralines one time---we walked the two blocks from school and ate in the shade of their lawn while she showed us pictures of family and ancestors and graveyards in their family book. (Small-town schools of another day).

    She said "'Vahn-zzhleen," in such a charming accent that we all changed our pronunciation on the spot.

    What a lovely jog of my memory-troves. I'll have to go dust off that immense volume of Longfellow.

    rachel

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    1. Glad to know someone else uses it. My mother was from Louisiana so I know of gumbo and pralines. I went to a room at the Parker House Hotel in Boston (on the Common), where many of the literary greats from days of old met to read their works aloud to each other. It was unreal.

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  2. I used to have that same book, but alas, it had hit the ranks of 'inventory' and was sold...I can't keep them all, right...it's good to be back blogging again, now that the shop is again opened and I've resolved myself to the fact that in retirement one can pursue other forms of entertainment...like 'A JOB'...nobody at age 65 opens another store, yet alone one of this size, but you know me, no rest for the wicked...and besides, this next birthday I'll become 64...see, there's a method...heh, heh, heh...
    sharon(nut)

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  3. PS i meant to mention that perhaps the word is retired for the Winter, sharing the season out like Persephone and the pomegranate seeds with the word "Whistle," for who ever says the wind whistles at windows in Summer?

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  4. Staying inside these days it smart. Now that word I have never heard and I am 78.
    I had a Dalmatian dog for 14 years he used to shower with me. Sure do miss him.
    I paint him every year. I now have 6 paintings of My best friend. Thanks for the comment,
    putting you on my sidebar. yvonne

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    1. Thank you Yvonne. Your shower must have been larger than mine. Two weenies and me are just about it. Love that you paint him every year. I still miss all my beloved pets that have gone on.

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  5. I have never heard of the word either and it isn't in my dictionary! I'm not sure how you would use it in a sentence please enlighten me. I always feel that my vocabulary is sadly lacking when I am writing other people seem to use words that I would never think of.

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    1. Elaine, it is a noun and used like in the susurrus the stream makes as it tumbles off a rock or the susurrus the curtains make when the breeze blows them into the room. Must be old English or something like that. I was only surprised that the author kept using it in her series of books. At first I thought the editor missed it, but now think I guess it's okay to keep using. I love words too. Always liked the words leviathan and maelstrom and too many others to list. Wish I had taken Latin in school.

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  6. Thank heavens for bad weather days when they bring pearls such as this. Life is all about links!
    I must say I hadn't run across susurrus in English, but the verb susurrer is not uncommon in French. I am originally from Louisiana, so I do know about Evangeline.

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  7. I haven't had a chance to read the "Outlander" books, but am enjoying the television series very much! Love making connections such as you did today!

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  8. Oh I love words that sound like what they mean ... susssss urr usssss :)
    Better an epitaph She Thought Too Much than She Never Thought ...

    Thank you for leaving your comment today ~ C

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    1. And thank you for yours. I enjoyed reading your blog. I actually found another person that used my 'epitaph' she thought too much. Though I thought of it many years ago, it is because I have suffered from anxiety my entire life and can't turn it off, thus I thought it a perfect fit for me. The other person I read that said it about herself, was Suzanne Valadon, a famous artist and mother to another famous artist, Utrillo. There, more minutiae and an example of why I think too much. (And I love words too)

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