The Wednesday Word - tintinnabulation

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Wednesday 13 May 2009

Today's Wednesday Word is tintinnabulation. It means a tinkling sound as if from some bells or glass chiming or something like that (I think the word is supposed to be an onomatopoeia, that is sounds like what it means).

The word is probably most pompously known from a poem called "The Bells" by Edgar Allen Poe, who also wrote another famous one called 'The Raven' which the Simpsons did an episode on. I think this whole poem is supposed to be onomatopoeic:

Hear the sledges with the bells -
Silver bells!
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
In the icy air of night!
While the stars that oversprinkle
All the heavens, seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells -
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.


Anonymous said...

Did I mention this poem to you or is it just conincidental that you have come across it. The repetition of "bells" is deliberatge and the poem should be read aloud so that you can feel the pealing of the bells as you recite it. A very nice poem and a great word though I have never had an opportunity to use it.

Love to all from me

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