Alan Bartels

Curse of a Dictionary

Upon my thirteenth birthday
My parents thought to buy
The Complete Oxford English Dictionary
To expand my vocabulary thereby

Hoping to make my conversation more intelligent
With the potential to help me on language tests.
Little did they know this development
Would lead me to annoy their guests.

I came upon a newfound love of words complex and long
As they solved my abecedary vacillations
Soon making me the cynosure of any gathered throng.

I would throw mismatched words in to common conversation,
For the purpose of enjoying people’s reaction,
Grousing the burger as “callipygian”,
Or complaining about the vitriolic weather of our region.

I began to develop acrasia, eventually spiraling out of control,
As my time as a deipnosophist landed me in a hole.
Now my OED sits gathering dust on my shelves
Waiting to pass on its curse to one stricken by the wordy urge to delve.


Copyright © 2002-2011 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose © 2002-2011 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission.