Monday, May 17, 2010

Q is for quell

(vb. 1. to suppress [disorder, mutiny etc]; 
put an end to; extinguish. 2. to quiet or
allay [feelings etc])  Budget Macquarie
(1. To quell opposition or violent behaviour
means to put an end to it using persuasion
or force. Troops eventually quelled the
unrest. 2. If you quell unpleasant feelings,
you stop yourself or other people having
these feelings. The Information Minister
is trying to quell fears of a looming oil crisis.)
Collins Cobuild Learners
(and:  to vanquish, subdue [ME; OE cwellan kill
causative cwelan die]) Macquarie

I came to this word
my tongue on tiptoe
swallowing on the downward
inflection: quell - it sounds like
a sadness, like water
cold, fresh, the kind
you roll on the tongue when
really thirsty, a relief.

Here are ten contradictions:
quell:                 shrill
fontanelle           impel
goodwill             repel
free will             infidel
well                     k ill
shall                pell-mell
dwell                 expel
villanelle           tumbril
vigil                  roadkill
quill               toll & knell

this vocabulary plays a trick -
lulls and trills and tendrils play
where bombshell expel and chill
hold sway: hello! farewell!
Stand still!

Whatever dies, it's all
God's will.
Quell the rebel!
They said before they
too, fell. Every domination
the road to hell.

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