Thursday, 5 April 2018


all her life, my Mother had a Pen Pal in Portsmouth, who, through the miracle of happenstance, was named Pauline ... and thus, from time to time, the words,
"I've a letter from my Pen Pal  Pauline, in Portsmouth", would putt-putt-putt across
the ordinary ... tickling a moment ... and evoking giggles from we-two

alliteration can be wonderful when words fall – by chance – into splendid cascades
of kindred consonants ... I love the ripple of similar sounds – the patter of thrums –
the pop and sizzle ... as alliteration injects humor, creates rhythm, bestows symmetry,
alters mood ... or simply signals:  something sinister is skulking in the shadows

I think that we are born loving alliteration ... it fills children's verse and storybooks
and is the stuff of childhood games and riddles and tongue twisters – and yet, alliteration
is really at its most magical, when words find each other and come together, as if
under a spell ... crackling in conversations ... or in a poem ... serendipitously

too different, perhaps, to enjoy a like-minded sense of humor, my Mom and I both
'got'  alliteration ... it was as though, an artfully word-smithed run of harmonious phonemes was the one thing we could agree, was often funny ... and so ... 
we hung on to that ... fervently ... right through, to the end of the story

note:  al·lit·er·a·tion - əˌlidəˈrāSH(ə)n:  the occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words.

photo: of me, with card or letter in hand - around age 4, I think - probably taken by Mom

© 2018 Wendy Bourk


  1. This is a wonderful tribute to alliteration!! What a nice memory you have of your mother...and what a nice interest shared!

  2. Alliteration does make life more fun doesn't it? I can remember as an uncouth youngster attempting to outdo others in a stream of words with the same initial letter. However teens came and my mind then delved into other sport!

  3. This is so wonderfully heartening, Wendy!💜 Love "crackling in conversations ... or in a poem ... serendipitously."💜

  4. Fun with words sets up a poet for life! I love the phrases 'tickling a moment'; 'words fall...into splendid cascades' and 'crackling in conversations'.

  5. Thanks for sharing your cute photo. I think you have outdone yourself with this alliteration poem.
    Smiles from me

    Much love...

  6. I love my mother, but we have very little in common too. One of the things that makes me smile is how particular we are about tea. She simply *must* have her Earl Gray, made her way. We can come together about a well made cup of tea.

  7. I so enjoyed the alliteration in this poem, which was a delight to read. This poem would be fun to read at spoken word.

  8. This left me smiling as I think back to all the alliteration in literature....and how by happenstance it makes the words sing.....I loved your memories and the sweet sharing of your mom!

  9. I agree, there's something about alliteration that draws us :)
    And, a beautiful interest and relation you shared with your Mom.

  10. I love alliteration too, the way it plays with our tongue or lips and bounces out of our mouths, gives rhythm to our words and often smiles to our faces.
    I love that you and your mom found pleasure in alliteration, my mum and I, in less serious moments, would attempt to respond to each other in rhyme.
    Anna :o]

  11. What a lovely write. You combined memories of your mother, with something you both shared. I like how you come to the end of the story too. Such a sweet synopsis of the simpatico between you two. Sorry, I'm not as good at alliteration as you. I enjoyed reading this immensely.

  12. “...splendid cascades of kindred consonants...”. Love that line!!

  13. ...I see beauty doesn't age... : )

  14. some great alliterations.. and wonderful images... I wonder if a pen pal time has passed or do we just use a different format...

  15. Very true Wendy! Tongue twisters can be amusing and fun!


  16. Such a tribute to word and family history, and boy you pack a lot of background into t his! Sad, and yet happy, that it was (the) one thing you could agree on.

  17. So enjoyable to read. Thank you for sharing it with us all.