Academy of American Poets
View Cart | Log In 
Subscribe | More Info 
Find a Poet or Poem
Advanced Search >
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Thomas Lux
Thomas Lux
Thomas Lux was born in Northampton, Massachusetts, in 1946. He was educated at...
More >
Want more poems?
Subscribe to our
Poem-A-Day emails.
FURTHER READING
Poems about Language
Anxieties
by Donna Masini
Avoid Adapting Other People's Negative Views
by Sharon Dolin
Etymological Dirge
by Heather McHugh
Having Words
by Alfred Corn
I Am Much Too Alone in This World, Yet Not Alone
by Rainer Maria Rilke
I Want the Certainty of Love in Another Language
by Christie Ann Reynolds
Lines on Nonsense
by Eliza Lee Follen
Making It Up as You Go Along
by Bin Ramke
Past Inclemency & Present Warmth
by Eryn Green
please advise stop [I was dragging a ladder slowly over stones stop]
by Rusty Morrison
Poem
by James Schuyler
Primitive State [excerpt]
by Anselm Berrigan
Reduction
by Page Starzinger
Series
by Geoffrey G. O'Brien
The Composition of the Text
by Adriano Spatola
The Forgotten Dialect of the Heart
by Jack Gilbert
The Long Hand Wishes It Was Used
by Jackie Clark
The Translator's Dilemma
by Ann Lauterbach
The World Seems…
by Gregory Orr
Time Study
by Marvin Bell
Tonight No Poetry Will Serve
by Adrienne Rich
Water Music
by Robert Creeley
What Is an Epigram?
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Yes
by Denise Duhamel
Sponsor a Poet Page | Add to Notebook | Email to Friend | Print

Onomatomania

 
by Thomas Lux

the word for the inability to find the right word,
leads me to self-diagnose: onomatomaniac. It’s not
the 20 volume OED, I need,
nor Dr. Roget’s book, which offers
equals only, never discovery.
I accept the fallibility of language,
its spastic elasticity,
its jake-leg, as well as prima ballerina, dances.
I accept that language
can be manipulated towards deceit
(ex.: The Mahatmapropaganda, i.e., Goebbels);
I accept, and mourn, though not a lot,
the loss of the dash/semi-colon pair.
It’s the sound of a pause unlike no other pause.
And when the words are tedious
and tedious also their order—sew me up
in a rug and toss me in the sea!
Language is dying, the novel is dying, poetry
is a corpse colder than the Ice Man,
they’ve all been dying for thousands of years,
yet people still write, people still read,
and everyone knows that nothing is really real
until it is written.
Until it is written!
Even those who cannot read
know that.
About this poem:
"The poem began with the title. Then I was annoyed by one of the occasional poetry-is-dead articles. Then I refute that notion."

—Thomas Lux






Copyright © 2014 by Thomas Lux. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on February 7, 2014. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.
Larger TypeLarger Type | Home | Help | Contact Us | Privacy Policy Copyright © 1997 - 2014 by Academy of American Poets.