forbidden favourites

Although most people agree that autumn starts with the equinox, which doesn’t fall for another week, it seems that Christmas is already looming, with cards on sale in the shops, and gift catalogues dropping through the letterbox. I never sign up for printed catalogues, but they arrive unsolicited, and offer temptations in the form of all sorts of trinkets and knick-knacks I never knew I needed.

Of course, once you start to buy gifts, some sort of wrapping is required. The latest catalogue offered this interesting set of gift bags:

Gift bag description: "sprinklied with irredecent glitter"

It’s not a charity I had ever thought of supporting, but if I had more time, I might be tempted to offer my proof-reading skills at a reduced rate.

Actually, it’s not so many years ago that someone corrected my own spelling of “iridescent”, which I had written with a double “r” in a poem draft. Fortunately, the same person thought to tell me that the word is related etymologically to “iris”, so I now usually get it right.

I think this was the poem:


The day ebbs orange

from the sky. Twilight

seeps into cracks

between bricks

and paving stones,

fills up the spaces

in the air and deadens

the iridescent chattering

of starlings in city eaves.

I can think of at least three more recent pieces of mine with some form of the word in them, so it seems to be a bit of a favourite in my writing. This is probably not a good thing: I have an idea that it’s one of those deliberately poetic words that bad poets tend to overuse, and I wonder whether it should be included in the list of “forbidden words“.

I think Dusk was written nearly ten years ago, though, so I suppose it’s still only an average of once every couple of years, which isn’t too bad. But I have used “iridescent” once already this year – in El Museo del Jamón – so I’ll have to think carefully if I’m to have any magpies in my poetry in the near future.

magpie feather

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

2 thoughts on “forbidden favourites”

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