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 ; OR, FROM A CHILDHOOD
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& worn-out & decades out-of-date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'