Tintinnabulation, a word first coined in 1849 by American poet and author Edgar Allen Poe.  It is a neologism and a portmanteau.  Derived from Latin tinnire – to ring, to tinkle; bulum – affix meaning musical instrument. An onomatopoeia, it means a ringing or tinkling sound.

This word appeared also in the poem “Quietude” by Odin Roark which I shared in yesterday’s post.  This morning, as I woke, I was greeted by ‘tintinnabulation’ in seemingly endless permutations. Unable to think of how to present this word, I began to contemplate it in poetic form; below is that contemplation.


by Jason Paul Seaux

A million bells in silence
the din of their voices pierce


save to me, their lone, unwilling auditor,
the silence
unpiercéd lingers

for all who would
but cannot,
be glad, the silent stillness



is yours to hear, to cherish
— blessed by silence
but know it not.

Their ringing,
joy, is meant

yet unwilling
their secret listener
grows tired, who cannot

— escape…






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