Missing Words

The fun of being a poet is that you can base your entire life playing with words, but what happens when the feeling you want to express doesn’t have a word in your language?

A little while back, the wonderful mentalexotica posted two lists of words of these feelings expressed in different languages, including:

Gummiservi (Turkish)

What you feel when you see moonlight shining on water.


Mamihlapinatapai (Yagan, from Tierra del Fuego): Two people looking at each other each hoping the other will do what both desire but neither is willing to do.

Thanks to the beauty of different languages, those inexpressable feelings now have a voice.

You can find the lists here:

Part One
Part Two


About handshedown

Keighley Perkins is a Cardiff-based poet whose influences include Anis Mojgani, Selima Hill and Richard Brautigan. Her work has previously been published in "Acumen", "Elbow Room", "Erbacce", "Fire", "Northwind" and "Obsessed with Pipework". She can also be found online on Twitter at @handshedown. View all posts by handshedown

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