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Poetry comes in various forms, shapes, and languages. A poem can range from a two-line rhyming couplet to an epic that spans thousands of pages. It can be a facetious limerick that titillates or a nature-inspired haiku that gives food for thought.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge described poetry well when he wrote, "Prose: words in their best order; poetry: the best words in their best order." This week we review a few words for various poetic forms: words that describe the best words in their best order.

epithalamion (ep-uh-thuh-LAY-mee-on), also epithalamium, noun

A poem or song in honor of a bride and bridegroom.

[From Greek epi- (upon) + thalamus (bridal chamber).]

If you aren't yet married, don't lose heart. There's a word for you, prothalamion, for a poem or song to celebrate a future marriage. It was coined by the poet Edmund Spenser (1552-1599) on the pattern of epithalamion.

-Anu Garg (garg wordsmith.org)

"Among the new poems are polemical epigrams, an onomatopoetic tour-de-force about motorcycles, a moving epithalamion, and a rather forced ode to libraries." Mark Rotella; Learning Human; Publishers Weekly (New York); Dec 6, 1999.


A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author and aviator (1900-1944)

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