When I was little (ages and ages ago!), I loved books and I could hardly wait to learn how to read. That way I didn't have to rely on anyone else in order to tell me a story. As soon as I learned how to read, I quickly went through as many books as I could and just as quickly got bored with the little kid books. I wanted to read Fairy Tales! I wanted to read about Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Goldilocks and the like. I encountered so many words that I didn't know and so I was delighted when I learned how to use a dictionary. As I worked my way through the school library, the dictionary was always next to me.
Soon I graduated to more advanced books and my favorite stories were written in the 1800's, books like Little Women, Alice in Wonderland, Beautiful Joe and The Secret Garden. I ended up with a more archaic vocabulary than most little girls. Some words I loved to use just because other people didn't use them. Starting about 5th grade, I used 'twas and 'tis as often as I could fit them into conversation. And I just liked the sound of other words, words like betwixt and frippery!
That habit has a tendency to raise it head to this day. I wrote a poem the other day, well, I guess I should say the other night. I can suffer from horrible insomnia. I just can't shut my mind off, and words will go round and round making sleep impossible. Sometimes, I can turn my mind off and get some sleep by "using" the words in a poem. I titled the poem "Agrypnotic", I thought, appropriately, as it means wakefulness or sleeplessness. It is Greek for chasing sleep. I like that word, I like the sound of it. Agrypnotic. Agrypnia. A lovely word. I like it much better than insomnia; chasing sleep is so much more descriptive than insomnia!
But I found out that the word was rather archaic. People reading my poem had to look the word up in the dictionary. So I decided what a wonderful word to Google!
Agrypnia also means vigil: keeping watch, a nocturnal exercise before a feast or festival. Agrypnotic is also used for items that prevent sleep such as strong coffee. There is a neuropscychiatric syndrome called agrypnia excitata that is a life-threatening form of insomnia. There is a musical group called Agrypnia. As far as I can tell, they play classical music and I found a lovely piece by Bach on a six-string electronic bass (BWV639). And the last thing I am going to mention is a Greek movie about a corrupt cop, originally called Agrypnia but renamed The Wake.
Oh, this was fun! Hmm, I wonder if I should post the poem that inspired this blog?