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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

365 Poems: The Discovery of Serendipity

Day 22

Horace Walpole,
discoverer of serendipity
Today we take up the poetry prompt challenge from the web site of Poets and Writers. We were asked to pick a word from the dictionary and 'write a poem using only the language of these definitions.' Taking up the gauntlet, the word 'serendipity' called to us, and we had fun playing with the definition and the history of said word (these from Dictionary.com). Which was more interesting, and even weird, than we had anticipated.

The Discovery of Serendipity, circa 1754

The three princes of Serendip
possessed this gift,
albeit it was rare
before the 20th century --

Horace Walpole, Englishman,

letter-writer and word-crafter,
reader of fairy tales,
though he called the princes ‘silly,’
was rather fortunate in making
this serendipitous* discovery.

On Dwelling-Place-of-Lions Island --
where heroes were always making discoveries
by accidents and sagacity,
of things they were not in quest of --
in the colony of Ceylon --

which is presently Sri Lanka --
serendipity was born.

*Coined 1950

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