Search the Glossary
  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z

A figurative compound word that takes the place of an ordinary noun. Many kennings rely on myths or legends to make meaning and are found in Old Germanic, Norse, and English poetry, including The Seafarer, in which the ocean is called a “whale-path.” (See Ezra Pound’s translation). “The Oven Bird” by Robert Frost also includes examples such as “mid-wood” and “petal-fall.” The speaker in Frank Bidart’s poem, “The Third Hour of the Night,” mentions a creature referred to as the “wound-dresser.”  See also Franny Choi’s “The Second Mouth.”

Other Information