Topographia (top-o-graf’-i-a): Description of a place. A kind of enargia [: {en-ar’-gi-a} generic name for a group of figures aiming at vivid, lively description].

Our cabin in the woods is one mile off the road over a narrow dirt track with a locked chain across its entrance that says in big red letters “Keep Out”. The road winds up a steep hill past huge white pines, maples, birches, and a few scraggly cherry trees. The cabin is one room–12 by 18 feet.  It has no plumbing or electricity. Outside, it’s covered by bat & board pine siding–inside, rough unfinished plywood panels. It has dark-green shingles and a rusty stove-pipe sticking out of the roof. There are seven windows looking in all directions–through the woods, over the valley, across the lake, down the hill. There’s a wood-stove with a dirty blue carpet in front of it, and pushed up against two windows looking over the valley is an old chipped-up white porcelain-topped table with three squeaky white chairs around it. There’s a gun rack, fishing poles, two canoe paddles, a fold out queen-sized bed, a folded-up cot, three sets of snowshoes, and a narrow counter with a Coleman stove on it along with mugs, and a tea kettle.  Hanging from one of the rafters is a kerosene lamp–black and gold.  There’s a small bookcase by the couch filled with children’s books on the top shelf and firewood on the bottom.

Many happy family memories live in that cabin in the woods–hot chocolate, reading out loud, listening to sounds at night–the waterfall, the crickets, the coyotes, the owls. What a place!

  • Post your own topographia on the “Comments” page!

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” ( Bracketed text added by Gorgias.

One response to “Topographia

  1. Example of Topographia Overlooking a Field:
    The field was quite a large patch of land, with many different types of wildflowers surrounding it. When there was a slight breeze, it blew the colorful plants and grasses gracefully back and forth in a gentle rocking motion. Although the flowers were beautiful, they also served as a home to multiple insects. One could often see colorful butterflies or busy bees flying from one plant to another, collecting their pollen and nectar. Many of the few trees that grew in the field were populated and visited by birds, singing their birdsongs and building their nests.

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