Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Fan of Nouns

Check out Roger Rosenblatt's heartrending and beautiful memoir Making Toast.  

But what I want to quote is a snippet from his upcoming new book (January 2012) Kayak Morning:

"I am a fan of nouns. I tell my writing students that if they need three modifiers to describe something, they've probably chosen the wrong something. The noun carries its own weight, and the right one will not be made prettier or tastier or more important by anything that decorates it. It has all it needs. It contains what Emerson called 'the speaking language of things.' The noun. The heron. The tide. The creek. The kayak."

What nouns have delighted you recently?  For myself I say hawk, ash, half-moon, cloud. Sparrow, river, hand, ring. Fall, hound, walk, leash. Eavesdropper, porch light, goldfinch, magician.


  1. Junco, wren, chrysanthemum, needle, hatpin, pincushion, pillow, rabbit, root.

  2. Thanks Kathleen. I am going to write a poem containing those nouns, so they never get out of the yard again.

  3. windlass, doubloon, hinge, vinegar, chest, grave, peatmoss