What's in a Word | All Blogs


Rhapsody in white, purple and yellow

By Debra Dobbins

The word “rhapsody” immediately brings to mind George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” with its sterling clarinet glissando as the beloved piece’s clarion call. For quite some time I’ve understood the word both in its musical sense and in the senses of “great delight” or an “utterance of great enthusiasm.”

What I didn’t know until today is that the word stems from the Greek word rhapsoidos, which meant a person who strung songs together, “a reciter of epic poetry,” according to Webster’s. In its earliest sense, “rhapsody” was a “part of an epic poem suitable for a single recitation,” the dictionary also notes.

According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word’s meaning of “exalted enthusiastic feeling or expression” started in the 1630s. The meaning of “sprightly musical composition” was first recorded in the 1850s, according to the same dictionary.

Driving to schools around the valley today, I felt like rhapsodizing over all the stately irises in bloom. Now flaunting gorgeous hues of white, purple and (my favorite) yellow, they’re indeed worthy of an epic poem or two.


 

COMMENTS

Please Login or Register to leave a comment.




Recent Posts
Ordering seeds
By Penny Stine
Tuesday, February 9, 2016

BIRDING IS POPULAR BECAUSE IT IS SO EASY / BIRDING IS POPULAR BECAUSE IT IS SO DIFFICULT
By Nic.Korte
Sunday, February 7, 2016

Let’s Drink to the Grammy Awards
By David Goe
Friday, February 5, 2016

A little buried
By Penny Stine
Monday, February 1, 2016

This is a cool thing to grow in January!
By Penny Stine
Tuesday, January 26, 2016


TOP JOBS




THE DAILY SENTINEL
734 S. Seventh St.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-242-5050; M-F 8:00 - 5:00
Editions
Subscribe to print edition
E-edition
Advertisers
Advertiser Tearsheet
Information

© 2016 Grand Junction Media, Inc.
By using this site you agree to the Visitor Agreement and the Privacy Policy