Tag Archives: Haiku

Claque – Friday’s Word of the Day

Our word of the day from Dictionary.com is claque. It’s a noun that means: a group of persons hired to applaud an act or performer; a group of sycophants.

Here’s how this word came to be:
Hired groups or squads to applaud actors and performers are nothing new. The Roman author Suetonius (75 – 150 a.d.) in his “Life of Nero” (chapter 20, in “Lives of the Twelve Caesars) reports that Nero hired 5,000 young men and taught them three different kinds if applause to use in his performances. In Paris by the mid 19th century, claques were organized into “platoons” whose various squads were rehearsed to laugh, cry, comment on, and encourage the actors. The great conductor Arturo Toscani (1867-1957) impised discipline and decorum on audiences and was instrumental in suppressing claques. Claque entered the English language in the 19th Century.

Claque is a perfect word for our current alternate reality. The powers that be think we need coaching when we’re told an apple is a banana. And not just any banana, but the most amazing banana in history of bananas. We need a cadre of claqueurs to rally and extol the amazing virtues of bananas from the sidelines. Their job is to convince us that what we’re hearing with our ears but failing to see with our own eyes is not what we think it is. They tell us when to laugh at unfunny jokes. They applaud wildly, standing in ovation to encourage us to do the same. These shills are paid for their loyalty and I learned that the professionals of this shady craft might even resort to extortion should the entertainer fail to pay for their feigned accolades by rousing choruses of boos. What is our world coming to?

As for me I like watching spectacles from the edge, trusting my intuition to come to my own conclusion. For example…It is not a banana. I know bananas. It is an apple of course. Your jokes are not funny and I refuse to reward you with applause for your outrageous claims. Thank you very much!

You can read more about this interesting word of the day at Wikipedia HERE.

Have a great weekend. And remember, if it walks like a duck and claques like a duck, it’s probably a turtle…..Ha! And I didn’t even need a laugh track to get a chuckle out of you…at least I imagine you smiling right now.

Here’s a little Haiku to reward you for reading this far.

the gullible gush
awed by the fake ovations
of shills and claqueurs


Logs – A Haiku

rootless, logs of pulp and sap
but once they were trees


For Haiku Horizons Challenge, prompt word, Log.

Autumn Glow

Autumn Glow

wafts of cinnamon,
the tang of oranges and cloves,
bonfires ablaze,
oak and hickory, crackling
snug are we, faces aglow

redolent season
breezes smoky, spice-infused
crimson, ochre hues


For Colleen Chesebro’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge, a tanka/haiku based on synonyms of the prompt words: Smell – redolent (adj)/tang and Cozy – snug.

Arete – Friday’s Word of the Day

Today’s word of the day at Dictionary.com is arete, a noun that means the aggregate of qualities, such as valor and virtue, making up good character.

It is Greek in Origin as Dictionary.com summarizes:

It is hard to imagine a more Greek word than aretḗ “excellence.” The excellence is of all kinds: military (bravery and prowess), sports (footracing), but also intelligence, public speaking, and good character. Aretḗ applies to the gods and women as well as to warriors and heroes: Penelope in the Odyssey (book 18, line 251) complains that “The immortals destroyed all excellence of mine, in beauty and stature, when the Argives sailed for Troy, and with them my husband Odysseus.” Aretḗ also applies to land (“productive”) and domestic animals (horses, dogs). Socrates pursues aretḗ “virtue, excellence” even if it costs him his life. In the Septuagint and New Testament, aretḗ also means “rewards of excellence, distinction,” as also in classical Greek. Arete entered English in the 16th century.

Here’s a nice bit of info to round out the application of this word. According to Greekmythology.wikia.com:

Arete was the goddess or daimona of virtue, excellence, goodness and valour. She was depicted as a fair woman of high bearing, dressed in white. Her opposite number was the daimon Kakia, lady of vice.  The best known story of Arete is when Arete and Kakia approached Heracles and offered him a life of valour or a life of luxury.  Based on his numerous adventures it is clear that he chose the life of valour.

Arete is the theme Aristotle’s philosophical virtue theory. You can read more about it HERE. Basically Aristotle believed: Arete roughly means “moral virtue”. It refers to an innate “Excellence” or “Essence” in all things, and the striving toward that potential or purpose.

Incidentally, for obvious reason, businesses love to use arete or symbols of arete in their titles and logos. If you google arete, you find a long list of companies who advertise their excellence in this way.

Well, before I get lost in my thoughts as I consider the arete of the various aspects of my life…this could take some time. I better give you a Haiku.

Go forth the, and prosper. Be the best you can be. Strive for arete!

when arete is scorned
by ignominious fools
virtue is disdained


Treat – a Haiku

By promising treats
man and beast with tricks comply
…or get off the pot!


I’m feeling plucky today. Have a great weekend. For Haiku Horizons weekly prompt: treat. Photo by cyberangel70 on Pixabay.com.

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