A search for the little-used words

Why select utilized when used will do? Skip proclaimed, commanded, and announced for the better, meager said. Don’t make your reader search out M-W.com—skip the 50-cent words and save your money.

They’re simple and important rules of the journalism world: Use easy-to-understand words to ensure writing is as clear and concise as possible. They also have a place in poery … but I’m not sure they’re rules, per se. More like misty guidelines, and it’s A-OK to ignore them if you have a good reason.

I was working on a poem recently and looking up some rhymes and near rhymes for weep. The delicious Mozambique popped up, and it made me think about all the heroic words out there that hardly ever find a home in a poem.

This is an easy prompt: Write a poem using a collection of words not commonly found in poetry. If you’d like me to supply your collection, here’s one, culled from the poem I wrote below:

  • one-hundred-seventy-one-thousand-four-hundred-seventy-six
  • Mozambique
  • embouchure
  • Seikan (or seikan, if you prefer)
  • oboe

(Also, allow me to apologize for sharing a the poem in photos, which I will do occasionally here. Blog templates are not terribly friendly to adjusted margins or erasured text.)

erasured text from Vienna Symphonic Library (some erasured text has been shortened for clarity, or made into new paragraphs); title and phrasing inspired by futureRAIL, “China’s wet dream: the underwater railway”

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