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Death of Words Part III: Sed Contra Est – Emily Dickinson

Like most of her work, this little ditty is sophistication cloaked in simplicity, ambiguity veiled by purity and truth gowned in flowers…


A word is dead
When it is said,
Some say.

I say it just
Begins to live
That day.

– Emily Dickinson (#1212)


  1. Dorian Speed says

    Have you read Steve Martin's Pure Drivel*? He has a bit at the end called "A Word From the Words" or something like that, in which the words introduce themselves and talk about what it's like to be in a book.

    *That is about as literary as we get around here most days.

  2. Mrs. Speed,

    Yes! The entire book is a hoot!

    To wit:

    Love in the Time of Cholera: why it's a bad title

    I admit that "Love in the time of …" is a great title, so far. You're reading along, you're happy, it's about love, I like the way the word time comes in there, something nice in the association of love and time, like a new word almost, lovetime: nice, nice feeling. Suddenly, the morbid Cholera appears. I was happy till then. "Love in the Time of the Oozing Sores and Pustules" is probably an earlier, rejected title of this book, written in a rat-infested tree house on an old Smith-Corona. This writer, whoever he is, could have used a couple of weeks in Pacific Daylight Time.



  3. Jonathan Webb says

    He needs time in an all-inclusive resort. Oh, I forgot that Marquez is a bolshevik.

    F$#% him then.

  4. Rufus McCain says

    Let's not sully the Emily with this vulgar banter!

  5. Jonathan Webb says

    The Emily in her fine threads?

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