I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

20 August 2011

The Letter S

The serpentine letter S
stands of course for snakes
and makes the sound
of their sibilant hiss.
Also it stands for spiders
whom most of us detest 
but I see as sentient beings,
wise weavers of webs:
those delicate spirals, or else
those fragile circles suggesting wheels
crossed by strong, straight spokes.
Webs that stick to your face
or sway in the breeze;
webs that shine after rain,
strung with sparkling droplets
prismatic as sequins, to flash and scintillate.

The letter S begins
these words — song 
and singing, soft,
surprising, startling, shocking,
sudden and slow,
stiff and supple,
slender, slim, 
slippery, shivering,
superb, and at last sweet.
It sounds (or sighs, or sometimes sings)
in these words — graceful,
glamorous, glissando, gasp,
upset, upstart, push, press,
pause, peruse, pursue,
promiscuous, promise, persist,
espouse, aspire, and especially, surely, ascend.

You can’t make scones,
you can’t even stir the mix,
unless you include the letter
and/or sound of S.
You can’t steer a bicycle, board a bus,
cross the Sahara Desert
or discover a lost continent!
Without this useful consonant,
you’re just no good, you’re less
than a sorry, struggling mess.
And so, my friends, I rest my case.
I spread my hands and smile, 
even smirk a smidgeon, as I say
that for me to fully exist — Rosemary
Nissen-Wade, aka SnakyPoet, it’s essential 
to use several smart and sensual, sexy letters S.

A response to the latest Thursday Think Tank at Poets United


  1. A very Sssssss snakey set of Ssss es
    A nice read, thank you :)

  2. You got me at "sibilant hiss." So expressive! I love spiders too, as long as they don't sneak up on me and turn up in my hair or under my shirt! I love the look of their webs, and you nailed the description! Beautifully done!

  3. You can’t make scones,
    you can’t even stir the mix,

    Great practical approach! LOL. All cleverly rounded into sexy - what more could one ask? As a Chinese Zodiac Snake I loved this piece. ♥

  4. I too loved 'sibilant hiss' ... wonderful, I'm almost making the sound as I write sssssssss :o)

  5. What a wonderful write. You have spoken so well for the letter S! :-)

  6. I love what you did with your "S." Simply stunning!

  7. So nice to meet sssyou....you swung quite a shot with this prose. I was seduced with all the shimmering sexy words...ha..ha..

    Happy day ~

  8. Ssso glad you all ssstopped by and expressssed your sssatisssfaction!

    Many thanks everyone, glad you enjoyed. :)

  9. It's been long since I have read something so interesting ... and i loved your blog ... would like to go through all of them later ... all the best.

  10. so much fun with 'S' in every part of the word and the poem.

  11. As you have shown us , it's a very important letter indeed!

  12. Lovely "sound" poem made from sibilants, particularly the second stanze.

  13. Sssssssssso sibilantly satisfactory!

  14. Sssssssssweet of you to ssay ssso :)