Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wondrous Words Wednesday - from Maya Angelou

Kathy at BermudaOnion's Weblog hosts this meme. It is a place to share words were encountered in our reading or highlight words we love.

Both of my words today are from Letter to My Daughter by Maya Angelou. 

"I believe that profanity directed at the victim of rape or equally lugubrious declarations of eternal love dribbled into the terrified victim's ear, have less to do with power than with sexual indulgence."

lugubrious - adj

: full of sadness or sorrow : very sad especially in an exaggerated or insincere way

"We must call the ravening act of rape, the bloody, heart-stopping, breath-snatching, bone-crushing act of violence , which it is."

This word had me really searching. I could tell from the sentence, that she meant it to be a strong word to describe the violence of rape. 

raven - verb
ravened, ravening
transitive verb
: to feed greedily
: to prowl for food
: plunder

transitive verb

: to devour greedily
:  despoil

Origin of RAVEN

Middle French- raviner to rush, take by force, from ravinerapine
First Known Use: 1530

As I looked at other definitions for raven, or ravening, I wonder if Ms. Angelou used it in the original sense =  take by force.  
What do you think? This word is very powerful used in this sentence

Today is a gathering of a group of friend I really like. We sew together. We are all quilters and it a great way to spend the day sharing and seeing the projects that are being created. We meet at a Retirement Center, in their assembly room. Then we have lunch with the residents in the dining room. We even get some resident stop in to visit and see what we are doing. I enjoy this group a lot. We call ourselves The Loose Threads!  We are all just a little bit short of a full spool!!  :)

Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy


  1. I'm pretty sure I've heard or seen lugubrious before but I couldn't define it. The only meaning of raven I knew was the bird.

  2. I have seen lugubrious and it may have been on WWW but ravening is completely new to me.

  3. Thanks for exploring the background of ravening so thoroughly - it helps me appreciate the power Angelou conveyed with her words. I guess "A Letter to My Daughter" is not a sweet, tender read?

    1. You know, a lot of it is sweet. But it is life lessons she would have shared with a daughter if she had had one. And knowing her background you can imagine some of the life lessons she learned. I checked the book from the library and liked it so much, that I am going to gift it to myself for Christmas or my birthday in print edition to have for always.

  4. I have read some powerful words by Maya Angelou as well. Judy, you did a wonderful job presenting the meanings of the words this week.

  5. I've never seen lugubrious before, thanks for sharing.

  6. Interesting post today Judy. I like the work you did on ravening. It gave me a feel for the book itself.