"As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; / [ . . . ] Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: / Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; / Selves -- goes itself; 'myself' it speaks and spells, / Crying 'What I do is me; for that I came'." --Gerard Manley Hopkins

25 June 2007

Flyin' High

"Do you find it easy to get drunk on words?"

"So easy that, to tell you the truth, I am seldom perfectly sober. Which accounts for my talking so much."

(from Dorothy Sayers' Peter Wimsey novel Gaudy Night, Harriet questioning Peter)

I am not quick with witty words in speech like Harriet and Lord Peter, far from it, but I am often drunk on words -- the words of brilliant writers like Sayers, and the words that place their demand on me for my own wordcraft . . . how much have I written just because I love the beauty of words, the power of words, the look and the sound of words on the page . . .

I begin to feel like Emily Dickinson lately. Just leave me alone in a quiet room removed from the rest of the house so that I can immerse myself in words . . . ah, the bliss that would be!


Fieldfleur said...

This is so cool. I'm glad there are people like you in the world!


Cindy said...

"Do you find it easy to get drunk on words?"

Utterly intoxicated. I sometimes shout aloud in laughter just for the sheer pleasure of a well written phrase or bit of dialogue.

St. Kevin & the Blackbird said...

To be able to turn a good phrase is a great gift; to be able to enjoy one sheer joy. Intoxicating indeed!

GrumpyTeacher1 said...

I'm not always quick enough to be verbally witty, but yes, yes. What else is there?

predictablepoet said...

"Do you find it easy to get drunk on words?"

Yes. I've been having mental conversations with my _Cold Sassy Tree_ friends in their own gloriously familiar Southern dialects... Words I don't know the meaning of, words floating back into my consciousness from a recently glanced-at dictionary page, fill my mind before I go to sleep or while I'm house cleaning. I am frightened by this malady and yet I embrace it. And now, I sing the words in my head because I'm WRITING again! (one exclamation point barely suffices, but I will cut it off there just for you).

Victor said...

I like to think of words as legos and I'm a kid again.

Good post from a fellow drunk!