Thursday, January 11, 2007

Snow Day!

Back yard: very Edward Hopper, don't you think?

View from the front door.

The snow and ice hit last night during the rush hour drive home. The whole city was a mix of ice rink and demolition derby track. It snowed all night and now this morning, as I went out in my robe to get the paper: calm and muffled quiet, starry sky, about 4-5 inches of white snow everywhere, no cars moving anywhere. It is gorgeous, simply gorgeous out. Gorgeous but treacherous on the roads. They say on the news, "If you don't have to drive, stay home." So I say, it's offically "stay home from work day. "


From today's Word a Day:

speculum (SPEK-yoo-luhm) noun

1. A mirror used as a reflector in an optical instrument,
such as a telescope.

2. Speculum metal: any of various alloys of copper and
tin used in making mirrors.

3. An instrument for holding open a body cavity for
medical examination.

4. A bright patch of color on the wings of certain birds,
for example ducks.

[From Latin speculum (mirror), from specere (to look at), ultimately
from the Indo-European root spek- (to observe) which is also the
root of such words as suspect, spectrum, bishop (literally, overseer),
espionage, despise, telescope, and spectacles.]

Put all four ideas seamlessly into a poem, and win a prize.


I received Charles Jensen's wonderful chapbook Living Things in the mail yesterday, and immediately devoured it over dinner. It's a really lovely, moving, thoughful collection, about the death of a former lover and/or friend. All of a piece. Terrific cover art as well. Congrat's Charles.


Bare envelopes arrive
each afternoon, small spears up and down my neck.

Your bills stare through cellophane windows
with their teletype eye.

"Time is running out.
Renew Men's Health today."

(pg 22)



Radish King said...

Snow day here, too, Peter. I just opened my last half pound of Christmas Blend beans.

Any woman over the age of 13 knows what a speculum is and it aint a mirror used as a reflector in an optical instrument, ha.


Anonymous said...

tomorrow's word of the day: stirrup


enjoy the snow day

A. D. said...

i'm working on my speculum poem.

Peter said...

Thanks RK, J. Best of luck, AD. Don't you just love words?

1. a loop, ring, or other contrivance of metal, wood, leather, etc., suspended from the saddle of a horse to support the rider's foot.
2. any of various similar supports or clamps used for special purposes.
3. Nautical. a short rope with an eye at the end hung from a yard to support a footrope, the footrope being rove through the eye.
4. Also called binder. (in reinforced-concrete constructions) a U-shaped or W-shaped bent rod for supporting longitudinal reinforcing rods.
5. Anatomy. stapes.
6. a. a strap of fabric or elastic at the bottom of a pair of pants, worn around and under the foot.
b. stirrups, (used with a plural verb) close-fitting knit pants with such straps.

Anne said...

"Speculum" and "ducks" should not be in the same sentence. That's just sick, man.