Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Word Catcher

Not to get out of coming up with my own challenges, but assuming that a few people reading this might actually be more interested in words than in the spectacle of me humiliating myself, I thought  this interview Rick Kleffel did with poet and word guy Phil Cousineau might be worth posting. His new book Wordcatcher covers much of the same territory that this blog does, although from a much more informed starting point. One thing we do have in common is an interest in the stories that are hidden in words, rather than simply their etymology. A sentence from the interview, though I don't remember if it was his own or something he was quoting: "Words are daughters of the earth." I find that quite lovely. He gives women a lot of credit for the naming of things, and of course I find that quite lovely too, although I suppose it's possible I might be a tad biased...


  1. Words are daughters of the earth. Sentences are sons of the river. Paragraphs are children of the forest.

    Two more lines like that and you've got a Peter, Paul and Mary song.

  2. I assume you aren't crazy about it, then.

    I do, because I've often thought that a lot of the words that seem the most romantic and mysterious often turn out to mean something like, "that old house by the river", "the mill where the sheep got loose" or "the cave where Jack lost his wallet". It really just means that great words come out of humble circumstances, just like pretty much everything else.

  3. Sorry, I just couldnt resist.

  4. I know. I read that bit about that poor Irish girl in the Italian bakery in Elwood. I doubt she's recovered.