I learned some of my favorite words from Poe

I’ve recently started my MEd, and I feel like a child wading through a foreign language – but a foreign language almost-learned, concealing ideas that promise to illuminate and inspire.  I finally started a makeshift glossary, full of words once known but forgotten, half-known, and brand new.  Some of the best so far – Black BoxZone of Proximal DevelopmentAutopoeisis… each word holds a delicious idea.

I remember a similarly profound experience when I was a teenager, consumed by Poe’s The Raven.  I felt my heart and mind swept up in the perfect music of the language, and I devoured it, greedily looking up each new word and the world it held.  Surcease, obeisance, nepenthe – beautiful words that have almost never come up outside of this poem, have become a part of me.  I learned panacea while looking up nepenthe.

And still, over 20 years later, this poem thrills me, fills me with fantastic wonders never felt before.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;

I swoon.

This.  I must chase this feeling.

 

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