Getting hooked on a word and not hearing much else until it’s defined.


Polemic

So I read my piece on European politics,
sitting down to scattered applause
and Anthony grinned wryly and said nice polemic
For my part, I grunted something noncommittal,
as wry is what Anthony does best
and I was unsure of the word,
settling discomfited back among the crowd

That evening my dictionary brought me some relief,
allowing that polemic
meant controversial argument
and not something bitter to be swallowed
(enough irony in that confusion)
Yet a compliment loses some of its luster
four hours later, poring over Webster’s Collegiate

Poetry Collection: The Smell of Tweed and Tobacco
This poem is included in
Jim Freeman’s
poetry collection

THE SMELL OF TWEED
AND TOBACCO

available here in print
or as an e-Book
in your favorite formats.