Sammi’s Weekender #233 (vellichor)

Click on graphic for hyperlink to Sammi’s blog.

Because it was not in my MW online dictionary: John Koenig wrote that the word vellichor, which he apparently created, refers to “the strange wistfulness of used bookstores, which are somehow infused with the passage of time…”

Dear Enemy

When Jean Webster
lived, wrote, and died,
grandmother was still alive.
Both lives ended
from new life inside.

My century+ old copy
with stains and library marks
has redolent suggestions
of hidden stacks in bookstores.
Vellichor, the petrichor of paper,
print, and the souls
of past passionate readers.

Look both ways as you hold hundreds of years in your human hands.
Mind the gaps in time as we admire the history of the human mind.

22 thoughts on “Sammi’s Weekender #233 (vellichor)

  1. Good one, Bill. I’m currently reading the novel Cloud Cuckoo Land, by Anthony Doerr, which is about how books, libraries, and storytelling have preserved what is best about humanity over the ages. Your poem dovetails nicely with that theme.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am SO glad I decided to read this before writing mine. I cannot believe you beat me to using the “petrichor of paper”! I swear, I was trying to figure out how to incorporate it into mine!

    So be it. I change direction now because you did it way better than I was attempting!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Not in any trouble at all. I have this thing where I really like to go outside of the box… I guess sometimes I need to verify that I am. When I find out I am not, I switch gears, if I can 😉 And maybe we do. Or maybe when we googled the word, we ended up reading the same posts 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Right. That came from ‘The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows.’ One of the NaPoWriMo prompts last April had us use that, so I knew of the source, but not the word.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Remarkably moving poetry, Bill, and I loved this: “Vellichor, the petrichor of paper,/print, and the souls/of past passionate readers.” How true!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mmmmmm….”the petrichor of paper, print, and the souls of past passionate readers.” 🙂

    Well-put, I like that. Books are like people in that sense, in that they give up their contents to you if you really want to discover them.

    I’m so intrigued by your title though – I feel as though I’ve missed something there? Perhaps it’s obvious? How about a clue? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Bill,

    Beautifully written. What more can I say that hasn’t been said? And I learned yet another word. Petrichor. It has a sweet aroma to it, doesn’t it?

    Back home at my desk, playing catch up (not ketchup 😉 ) Have a good week.



    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Rochelle,

      I started my NaNoWriMo project today. I hope to do 50K words (but not a novel) by end of November. Only 49,000 to go. :-). You have a wonderful week as well.
      I’ll never look at a bottle of ketchup in the same way again. 🙂



      Liked by 1 person

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