Since I was the first writer to emerge from a very large extended family, when my book was published, I had no idea how family members would receive it. As it turned out, my two living aunts were appreciative, but one confessed she was unfamiliar with some of the vocabulary. That surprised me at first—I don’t use obscure words deliberately—but when I pored over the book with a fresh eye, indeed I detected words that no one should assume are universally known, for example: glyph, rune, quotidian, imprimatur, Cimmerian, auguries, interloper, cumbrous, promontory, chanterelles.
Some poets in this second edition of Umbrella sent me to the dictionary too, to look up hummadruz and some foreign locutions: himbeergeist, heilige totschlag, kleider machen leute. No glossary provided! “Googling” (itself a new locution) will solve such puzzles easily enough.
To celebrate this edition’s interesting word choices, I’ve written a little poem incorporating one word from each featured poet.
A Little Lexicon Poem
In addition to fine poetry, we’ve got some boffo prose for you this time. Bumbershoot was great deal of fun to put together too. Jan D. Hodge deserves particular mention for his sensational collection of double dactyls. For the children’s verse section, eminent children’s author J. Patrick Lewis has brought us Doby Mick, the great white snail, and given a number of animals a fitting burial. The children’s verse section turned out to be quite the menagerie.
Many thanks to my cohort Carol Taylor for her great and gracious services as Bumbershoot's light verse editor, and to Rachel Dacus for her sagacious advice during Umbrella's selection process. Your editors dearly hope you enjoy this second edition of Umbrella/Bumbershoot.
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