Friday, January 29, 2021

Merriam Webster’s Time Traveler Poems

2021 and a fresh start to Friday Poetry with my Poetry Sisters! This year we are going to be doing monthly challenges and invite you to join in, if you would like. 

Here’s our plan for next month: To post on Feb 26 (and to share on Twitter as #PoetryPals): roll a set of metaphor dice and write a poem inspired by your metaphor. If you don’t have them, try the online one:"

For January, we collected words at the Merriam Webster's Time Traveler site, where you can take a look at a list of the words first used in print during your birth year (or select any year!). I was thinking generational, since I've recently lost my mother and lost my oldest child three years ago. I wondered what progression in language I would parse from comparing our three birth years.

Merriam Webster's Tale of Three Generations

First Generation

Grandma was born

at the moment of truth.

She was no gal Friday.

She was a flat out,

filter tipped,



She passed on

the genetic markers

of wishful thinking.

She mixed culture shock 

with pablum

and a new deal,

tape recorded our boo boos

and pointed a zoom lens

at Silver Stars.

Second Generation

For instance,

it was happy hour

in the global village

when our virtual memory

reached the tipping point

and queen size

soul sisters

got zonked

on hard rock,

plain vanilla

amuse bouche

and open heart


We were brown bagging

no load, nonself picholine

shrink wrapped in

soul music.

Next Generation


The third generation

in this story

could be patient zero,

scripting language

and contact tracing

acid wash emoticons.

Their messenger bag

stuffed with off label


they take a deep dive 

into a thirtysomething


The FAQ explains

how to gank

paintball GIFs

in virtual reality.

We are all ADHD now.

     - Andromeda Jazmon    2021

Welp, that was a hoot! Check out my Poetry Sister's poems:







And please save some time this weekend to enjoy all the poetry at the round-up at Bookseedstudio!


Tricia said...

Andi, I love how you've captured something of your family across time in these interlinked stanzas. I can feel the passage of time and feel like I get each person described. It's really lovely.

Sara said...

Andi! Look at you, punching out THREE gorgeous poems. These are so full of life, and the progression through generations is genius. LOVE.

Janice Scully said...

What different language for each generation! Such an interesting comparison to make. I looked up a few things like amuse-bouche and learned some words I didn't know!

tanita✿davis said...

LOL, that "welp!" Growing up, that was considered an awful, terrible word grammatically, but it always makes me laugh. I like how wildly different your words are - and the eras represented. I think you did your Mom justice especially! A "flat-out, interfaith supernova" is a lovely description.

Linda B said...

The timeline is precious, Andromeda. I went over and over it, laughing & bringing up memories. I took lots of French in high school, then college, remember how we (high school) began to use "amuse-bouche" & feeling so cultured. And, like Tanita, that "Welp!" added in is all that needs saying. It's a clever idea to do all three.

laurasalas said...

Andi, these are amazing! I get such energy from these poems, and such a different feeling from each one. Wow!

Ruth said...

What a fantastic idea! Saving that Time Traveler site to go back to when I get a chance.

Kay said...

Your three stanzas capture the three generations. I find it fascinating how language changes and how that changing vocabulary expresses the vibes of the times.

Liz Garton Scanlon said...

HOLY WOW. The shift of language is incredible. I love the way you used this to bridge the generations. And that wishful thinking... oh, my.