More Disenchanted Literary Terms

IVORY TOWER –

To be in an ivory tower is to be remote from the world, out of touch with reality, and probably devitalized. (Devitalized? okayyyy….) This term is often a connotation to writers or artists. A fall from your ivory tower? I feel doomed. Click here for help.

INVOCATION –

A bit lighter here: An invocation is an appeal or request for help to a higher authority or to God.

NOM DE PLUME –

A nom de plume is French for “Pen-Name”. This is a fictitious name used by a writer. NOM DE GUERRE is the French term for an author’s pen name. Another useful word: pseudonym.

Haiku

I’ve always found the Japanese for of poetry, called Haiku, fascinating and enchanting.

Haiku, as defined in the shaded literary dictionary, consists of seventeen syllables formed in three lines of poetry: line one has five syllables, line two has seven, and line three has five syllables again.

Haiku poems are meant to express a single idea, an inspiring image or feeling, “it is a kind of miniature “snap” of words!”  This form of poetry was first established in the 16th century and was originally called hokku.

Two of the most well-known Japanese haiku poets are Basho and Kobayashi Issa.  Other poets who may have used haiku principles in their works or were influenced by this delicate form of poetry are Ezra Pound, Amy Lowell, Robert Frost, Conrad Aiken and W. B. Yeats.

Here is a sample by Western poet James Kirkup from the poem titled Evening

In the amber dusk
Each island dreams its own night
The sea swarms with gold.

image: asian princess iPhone wallpaper

ghostword…

To the list of literary terms we begin with: ghostword

I ain’t afraid of no ghost

ghostword – It is a literary term invented by a 19th century editor of medieval texts named, W. W. Skeat. That name’s an interest in itself!  The term “ghostword” is used to describe words which have no real existence.  Strange to say these words often come from copyists, editors, or printers who accidentally spell the word wrong, thus creating a “ghostword” with this error.

Ah, the inadvertent creation of ghosts…word-ghosts…now that’s a story idea…

Another term for this is phantom word, defined as a word created through an error of a scribe or lexicographer, or perhaps through some corruptive influence.