Tag Archives: enargia

Topographia

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].

Dante did a pretty good job of describing hell.

But there is a hell he never imagined:

15-year-olds sitting in a classroom, eager to learn. Teacher teaching, asking questions, getting spirited well-framed answers. All is well.

Big windows. Brightly polished floors. Sun streams in on a warm Autumn day.

You know what happens next. They didn’t–they were growing, thriving angels filled with wonder and vexed by the awkwardness of being 15–just like we were when we were teens.

Over as fast as a trigger can be pulled: the banging, the flashing, the wounding, the dying.

15 year-olds in a classroom. Broken windows. Blood-stained floors. Sun streams in on a warm Autumn day.

Dreams disintegrate in the warm Autumn air.

Nothing is left but grief, anger, fear, and despair.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text added by Gorgias.

Astrothesia

Astrothesia (as-tro-the’-si-a): A vivid description of stars. One type of enargia.

In some story of ancient origins, stars are holes that let out a dreamy light to still our spinning thoughts and send us off to dream underneath the blanket of night.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

Chronographia

Chronographia (chro-no-graph’-i-a): Vivid representation of a certain historical or recurring time (such as a season) to create an illusion of reality. A kind of enargia: [the] generic name for a group of figures aiming at vivid, lively description.

The air is warming–winding through the sunlight on a hardly breathing breeze. The fresh green field is spangled with a thousand (or more) dandelions. In the dim damp woods Jack is standing in his pulpit among droopy trillium and fiddle headed ferns. There’s a fleck of purple violets growing by the brook! I don’t care what the calendar says–today is spring! Just breathe the air and have a look!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text added by Gorgias.

Chronographia

Chronographia (chro-no-graph’-i-a): Vivid representation of a certain historical or recurring time (such as a season) to create an illusion of reality. A kind of enargia: [the] generic name for a group of figures aiming at vivid, lively description.

Butterflies flutter by. Tree Swallows swallow the sky. It’s humid and hot. The drinks are poured. Summer’s back in town. Time to sit, relax, and look around.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text added by Gorgias.

Astrothesia

Astrothesia (as-tro-the’-si-a): A vivid description of stars. One type of enargia.

Every summer up in Maine, at least once, I stay up very late to stand out on the Point–waves crashing (sometimes not), warm wind blowing (sometimes not), stars starring the starry night. For 60 years, like some kind of bird hard-wired to go north, I go north. As a child I went with my parents and my sister, and later, as we grew, with our new brother and our new sister.

Again and again I have gone–through adolescence, into adulthood, after high school, after the war, after college, after all. The memories overlay every inch of Maine’s summer places.

And here I am again, a sort of old man, standing out on the Point with my wife and my daughter. It is dark. It is a deep dark dark night.  I look up again into the night sky and the stars–the billion bright stars–draw me into their presence, and I feel like an angel.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

Topographia

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].

The Field

I have a seven-acre field that I’ve landscaped in what what I call the “controlled chaos” mode. It’s pretty much on its own with goldenrod, wild grasses, milkweed, nettles, giant thistles, daisies, phlox, alfalfa, foxglove, wild roses, field ferns, wild strawberries, and more. All I do is pull enough of the plants that tend toward making a mono-culture of it–mainly the goldenrod and milkweed–to enable the other plants to thrive. It is populated and visited by birds (goldfinches, field sparrows, crows, a pair of king birds, buzzing hummingbirds and more), butterflies (monarchs, admirals, yellow and black swallowtails, checkered butterflies, sulfur butterflies, and a number of different kinds of moths), dragonflies, spiders, ants, garter snakes, ladybugs, the occasional tick, and more. Turkeys wander across the field.  Foxes hunt for mice. Deer come to graze in the early evening. Yesterday, as I was walking along the field’s edge, curled up sound asleep by a trail leading into the woods was a tiny little fawn.

The field hosts a vernal pond in March when the snow melts–a breeding place for black yellow-spotted salamanders.

At the field’s edge there are two bird boxes spaced about 100 meters apart.  Currently, there’s a tree swallow family nesting in one box and a bluebird family nesting in the other. If things go like they usually do, after the bluebirds move out, a pair of house wrens will take up residence.  I love to listen to the male when he shows up and perches on top of the box and starts to loudly sing for a mate.

I have mowed a trail that winds through the field.  The grass grows shoulder high alongside it. One of our favorite family adventures is walking the trail at night in late spring when there are thousands of fireflies flashing all around us. We stop every few feet and stand there oohing–awestruck over and over again by hundreds and hundreds of tiny random bursts of light.

The field is a hobby, a place to wander and wonder together, and a natural home for insects, birds, plants, herptiles, reptiles, and mammals.

In sum, that’s the field.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text added by Gorgias.

Topographia

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!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text added by Gorgias.