It’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday yet again, and this week’s word is
Onomatopoeia is using words to imitate sounds. Like they used to do in Batman, when Batman and Robin were fighting the villain and his henchmen.
Don’t you just love it? Especially when fighting against the Archer (Art Carney) and his men: Wham-eth! Whap-eth!
When I was a freshman in high school, my English teacher, Mr. Druska, was also a freelance artist who worked with my aunt/godmother Jill at Loyola University Press. I had a couple of the books he illustrated, a book on television that fueled my love of the medium, and a book he illustrated for a Jesuit named Ken Feit. (Sadly, I no longer have the books, and they’re out of print. Just damn.) Google his name; he was a storyteller, a clown, a “fool for Christ,” and a pretty cool guy, evidently no longer with us. One of Ken’s specialties was “sound poetry,” where he would make up words that sounded like what he was talking about. I remember some of it, mostly just the odd word or two, like “Rimmmmmmmmmpleedaaaaab,” the sound of an old lady smiling, or “zimelatty fip!” the sound of a bug flitting across (and through) the water. I do remember one of his poems; see if you can tell what this is:
Fwap-a wap-a wap-a fwip!
Bip bip bip bip bip bip buh
I don’t think I got the HTML right on that one; the “bip”s decrescendo to the “buh.” Anyway, if you guessed “playing with a paddleball,” give yourself ten points.
Let’s break it down: the “Fwap-a wap-a wap-a” is the guy hitting the ball with the paddle. Then, “fwip!”, the rubber band breaks and the ball goes flying. The first “bip” is the ball coming down and hitting the floor, and the successive “bip”s are the ball continuing to bounce, but losing momentum, until “buh,” the ball stops bouncing and rolls to a stop.
When Jill brought me the book, Mom glanced through it and came to a picture of Ken in his Roman collar and clown makeup. “Oh, for God’s sake,” she said, and never asked to see it again.
Linda Hill hosts Stream of Consciousness Saturday over at her blog. Fillow the link and you can find all of this week’s participants and the rules for the game, in the event you’d like to join us.