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Note 12/05: The Thesaurus is undergoing revision. (A couple of armor plates on the beast's back came loose).
This little poem about childhood & especially childish fantasy gone wild & re-enforced by an excessively bookish young adulthood
 is in all about  a standard 8 1/2" x 11" page in typescript. Here's the lst half of The Thesaurus as it stands now:



The Thesaurus was a highly predatory, unpredictable creature which wandered in the woods, us kids thought,
        scaring children & generally upsetting things

By suggesting that the words which people used could be replaced by other words
        & thus that life had hidden meanings

But mainly we figured, the creature did damage directly by running head first into things
        like some formidable, wildly charging rhino--armored on all sides & truly mind-boggling
While overhead in our pre-historically-obsessed, primitive young minds
        hovered The Dictionary, clacking its hideous, scaly beak
& Descending sometimes, to sharpen its claws on The Thesaurus.

I actually saw a real live Thesaurus a few years later--yes, I was well on the way to entering my young
        adulthood or so I thought, when I first encountered  it
Sitting there large as life, upright in the dust on the lowermost shelf of
        one of the bookcases in my parents' living-room
Snorting & snuffling & looking around fiercely as it could in every direction;

But that particular Thesaurus was already terribly old & tired & worn-out & decades out-of-date
& Really quite pathetic with its leathery brown skin torn almost to shreds--
        as the result, I still supposed then, of various forest skirmishes;
It sighed at me & stared back at me with badly blood-shot eyes
        which opened wide twice daily as I walked by, possibly to see if food was there
With its muzzle emitting muffled, oddly unnerving sounds of all kinds, which happily defy description here....

[To Be Cont'd]

The Thesaurus; or, From a Childhood is partly a poem about obsessions of children with dinosaurs & the pre-historic,
But mostly it's tale about the power of imagination in childhood & about childish fantasy gone wild in young adulthood,
reinforced by excessive bookishness & awe of a tattered old reference book. Poem's sub-topic is language & linguistics.
Like other verse at this site for which The Thesaurus serves as title-poem, it's from a mss.-in-progress entitled Of:
Webversion, © 2004 by Michael Benedikt 


Next Poem at this site--'Rita & Ringo'

Home Page of  'The Thesaurus & Other New Verse'