Though these days the term wordmonger refers to "a writer or speaker who uses language pretentiously or carelessly," please join me in proposing a new meaning. A fishmonger appreciates and promotes fish, therefore, a wordmonger does the same for words.

Thursday, May 22, 2014



Memory is a complicated thing, a relative to truth but not its twin.”
-Barbara Kingsolver

Memorial Day is nearly upon us. Though it’s not quite the intent of the holiday, here are some thoughts of wise women on the topic of memory:

“In memory each of us is an artist: each of us creates.”
-Patricia Hampl
“The hills of one’s youth are all mountains.”
-Mari Sandoz

“I have a terrible memory; I never forget a thing.”
-Edith Konecky

“Oh may I join the choir invisible
Of those immortal dead who live again
In minds made better by their presence.”
-George Eliot

 Memories are like corks left out of bottles. They swell. They no longer fit.”
-Harriett Doer

“The charm, one might say the genius, of memory is that it is choosy, chancy and temperamental; it rejects the edifying cathedral and indelibly photographs the small boy outside, chewing a hunk of melon in the dust.”
-Elizabeth Bowen

Good readers, what wise woman’s words ring truest or cause you to think in new or pleasurable ways?

My thanks go out to this week’s sources: OED, Rosalie Maggio’s The Beacon Book of Quotations by Women


  1. These are all such great quotes. I think I like the Edith Konecky one best. :-)

  2. All of them, to varying degrees, but Ms. Bowen's clicked most.

    Memory is a very interesting thing, more malleable than most people realize. There have been some interesting psychological studies on memories...

  3. Ahoy Rachel6 & Anne,
    I'm with you on the intrigue of memory, Rachel. Several years ago I heard a chap tell the tale of an accident we both witnessed. He may as well have been on another planet. Wow. And Anne, the Konecky quote brings to mind its opposite, offered by Vonnegut in "Harrison Bergeron," in which a dim-witted, happy character parrots the government's line, "Forget bad things."

  4. I'm with Anne. I loved the Konecky quote. Never heard it before. I also love Doer's likening of memory to corks left out of bottles. For most of us writers, they're all pretty appropriate. Thanks, Charlie, for an insightful read. Hugs, P.

  5. Ahoy Paul - thanks for dropping by. It's always a pleasure to run into you (whether digitally or in the flesh). May you enjoy herding those corks.