Today’s (optional) prompt is to write a poem that, like “Dictionary Illustrations,” is inspired by a reference book. Locate a dictionary, thesaurus, or encyclopedia, open it at random, and consider the two pages in front of you to be your inspirational playground for the day. Maybe a strange word will catch your eye, or perhaps the mishmash of information will provide you with the germ of a poem. For what it’s worth, my 1961 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, Volume 11, has just informed me that despite “his beauty,” the “profligacy” of the Emperor Heliogabalus’s life “was such as to shock even the Roman public,” while also presenting me with a lovely little line drawing of a variant of heliotrope, the flowers of which are said to smell like cherry pie.

i spy

Had fun writing it using the words on page 648 and 649 of the Oxford Dictionary – I’ve highlighted the words taken from these pages in blue, below.

I don’t know what I was thinking

when I began this task today

And while I wished to rewind and begin again

the rules of the game stood in the way

Breaking them not an option

Or choosing another page;

So, here it is, for a prig like me

No, not literally, it’s just the first word I see;

And then there’s ‘prie-dieu‘ which sounds quite nice

From the hoity- toity French ofcourse.

It means, the ‘kneeling-desk for prayer.’

Makes me feel so very righteous

Talking of all things holy,

When I see with my little eye ‘priapism’

And can’t help but feel, I’ve committed perjury!

How ‘ lewdness’ could occur-

on the same page as a ‘seat for prayer’

Is beyond the workings of my tiny brain!

The God of procreation – Priapos,’ here it says –

The origin of the word. “Ah! A God !”

My sense of righteousness restored;

Not a pretext to prove my innocence;

Just a humble request, “Please do not read

between the lines and call me presumptuous

While I am still here at the game

It is certainly not my aim –

to use double entendres.

Its this page that is to blame , ‘doing the mischief,’ I must say

So let’s move on to something more pleasant

“Greener pastures,” as you’d say.

‘Pretzels’ and ‘pretty pretty’

One from Germany and the other from Britain

Why in the world

Did I not see these words before?

Anyways, while we are still at it

Here are a few more-

To end this game on a sweeter note

And forget what I said earlier

about Priapos and all

Umm… ‘prickly poppy,’ prickly pear

and ‘prickly heat’; “Oh my, its not getting any better, is it?”

“That’s it! Better stop and end it here, with Prima Ballerina!


Copyright© All Rights Reserved.


Posted by:Smitha V

A banker by profession, a blogger by choice, a poet by accident, and an artist at heart. Imperfectly perfect - that's me. Welcome to my world!

6 replies on “NaPoWriMo: Day 24 – Its page 648 and 649

  1. What fun Smitha! You were really at the mercy of what could have been some very uninspiring words, but you made a great vignette out of the journey of creating a poem out of them!


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