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Forbidden words – “vermilion” in Hopkins’ “The Windhover”

I’ve just been introduced to a list of “forbidden words” in poetry. “Vermilion” is one of them. But look at Hopkins’ “The Windhover” – how he makes “vermilion” burst off the tongue with a sense of sudden release and then settle into quietness. There are bigger miracles in the poem, of course, but I want to talk about this one in the context of the idea that some words are too clichéd for us to use in our poems.

 

The Windhover

To Christ Our Lord

I caught this morning morning’s minion, king-
…..dom of daylight’s dauphin, … Continue Reading