Handkerchief............... [The word origin of 'hankerchief'; Musings]
Don't ask how I got the idea. Who would write about a snot rag?
But the idea came into my mind, and on my mind it did nag.
A handkerchief: a piece of cloth used to wipe hands or brow on nose.
Why would I write about something into which a guy might blow his nose?
I don't know why "handkerchief" came to mind while, for a title, I did search.
I suppose even stranger ideas, for a title, from my mind could lurch.
And I never meant to speak of its use, or appearance, or from where the first one came.
Instead I thought I'd write my thoughts about "handkerchief", the name.
So as I lay here wondering what to write...., how to explain the name, .... a thought that I shall share with you...., into my mind came.
Hand-ker-chief, Handker-chief, Hand-kerchief. There! I had it!
A "kerchief" is a scarf-type thing a woman might wear over her hair.
In some places and in some earlier times they are/were common..., but today, I might stare.....
if I saw a kerchief on a head. "What's she trying to hide? ", I might wonder.
A bald head, a bad dye-job, a botched cut? What's she hiding....., "under"?
So perhaps handkerchief comes from "kerchief" and a second word: "hand".
I own a few myself, handkerchiefs, but in my hand one rarely does land.
Mostly they sit in my sock drawer, though one I may carry just in case....,
but it kind of turns me off when a man raises a wrinkled, used hand-kerchief to his face.
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Poet's Notes about The Poem
Comments about this poem (Handkerchief............... [The word origin of 'hankerchief'; Musings] by Bri Edwards )
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
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