#58 in an ongoing series of posts celebrating the alphabet
I’ve always had a thing for the letter “O.” Hardworking and versatile with many shades of pronunciation in English, its simple circular shape (eternal and open) is pleasing to the eye. Lacking any sharp edges, smooth, amiable O is happy any side up and is always ready to roll.
As a distinctive exclamation, O is a word unto itself and knows how to command our attention in verse as well as song (Shakespeare was especially fond of O):
O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? (Romeo and Juliet)
O curse of marriage! (Othello)
O brave new world (The Tempest)
O that this too too solid flesh would melt (Hamlet)
O Captain! my Captain! Our fearful trip is done . . .(Walt Whitman)
O perfect Love, all human thought transcending (Dorothy F. Gurney)
Such heft, such strong emotion! Sometimes, only O will do. 🙂
If it seems like O is always looking at you, it’s because it evolved from the Egyptian hieroglyphic symbol for the human eye. And O is the only letter whose name creates its shape on the speaker’s lips.
Say it now: “O.”
Perfect letter, perfect love.
by Alice N. Persons
~ for Dennis Camire
let us praise O
so round, friendly,
the circle with no opening
a letter of distinction:
Ovid, Odysseus, Ozymandias
of odd instruments,
oboe and ocarina
traveler to exotic places — the
Orient, Odessa, Opalocka, Oz.
Imagine the peculiar all-O diet:
okra, olives, oatmeal, Oreos, oranges,
osso buco, or oolong tea!
The natural world would greatly miss O —
that ocelot in the oleander,
the owl perched in an oak
and the osprey winging over the orchard,
where an opossum feigns sleep.
Some O names make us laugh —
Ophelia Butt, Olive Oyl, Paddy O’Furniture,
Oprah as Orca
and think of the great Oscars —
Wilde, Levant, Peterson, Meyer, and
the sleek golden Hollywood prize.
Where would sexy writing be without
Oral, orgasm, onyx and opal, the story of O?
O, most perfect letter,
you contain so much that is important —
and best of all, you are always
~ from Never Say Never (Moon Pie Press, 2004)