E: [email protected]
I write humorous verse under the pseudonym, WORDS'WORTH.
WORDS'WORTH grew from a request by fellow workers of Susan Jones, their corporate librarian, in a midwestern insurance company. They wanted a weekly vocabulary word via the company's e-mail. This led to searches for appropriate, unusual words - keeping eyes and ears open for likely "candidates" - in the news, in quotation books, in professional and recreational reading. Many times, literature and humorous verse provided the weekly words. Often, these sources suggested or prompted a response, also using the selected word. And so, WORDS'WORTH was born.
Most of my verses are inspired by vocabulary words that I find interesting and amusing, or by their use in quotes from various literature.
In 2010 my first book was published, Words' Worth's Vocabulary Verse A to Z and Back Again: A Rhyming Romp through the Alphabet.
A second volume was published in 2016, called For Better and for Verse: An Omnium-Gatherum of Words at Play
In 2015, I completed my research and published a history of the Eastern Shore Writers Association (ESWA), a project commissioned for its 30th Anniversary year, titled, I Vaguely Recall.
I do book talks and author signings. Sometimes I entertain by using my words and verses in a thematic way, accompanied by music which I perform on the piano and clarinet, often by prerecording my own accompaniment.
Please visit my other profiles in the Music and Speaking/Storytelling categories and visit my author's website, below.
Madame, it is an old word and each one takes it new and wears it out himself.
Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)
Death in the Afternoon
raddled, adj. (radd’ ld)
Showing the effects of overwork or suffering.
Unkempt, run-down, or haggard in appearance. Worn out; broken down. E.g., Well, Henry,
no one can say you're not experienced.
In fact, the word I'd use is old, old and raddled.
“Sally’s Arrival,” episode from Drop the Dead Donkey (1990 TV Series)
Time’s and tide’s effects are such
that languor has me in its clutch.
My timbers, once shipshape, are shivered.
My beauty spots, now aged, are livered.
I blame the ravages of time
for waning wits and insights I’m
not grasping. Yes, I’ve lost my steam.
My headlights are on lowest beam.
My metaphors are mixed – at best,
(as these anemic lines attest.)
My looks have faded, and my hair
(now gray) requires Ms Clairol’s care.
I’m looking haggard, truth be told.
I’m raddled. Raddled, yes. And old.
She was a little grotesque, a raddled caricature of a fading beauty.
Margaret Drabble, “Portraits of the Artists,” The Guardian, March 4, 2011
Many more examples of Words'Worth's vocabulary verse may be perused at www.wordsworthverse.com
WORDSWORTH (Susan Jones) was born in Oregon and grew up there, at the end of a canyon, in a beautiful, sequestered setting homesteaded by her Swedish bachelor immigrant great uncle.
Frequent trips back and forth to Portland for piano and clarinet lessons rounded out a life filled with school and school activities, family, and church. Contests, recitals, youth orchestra, summers at Aspen and Tanglewood – these punctuated her years at college, where she earned her degree, with honors, in German.
Then came marriage, two children, and a musical career teaching and performing professionally in Portland. In 1980, a hopscotch odyssey eastward began (thanks to job offers made to - and accepted by - her husband) – first to Minneapolis, then Indianapolis, and finally Washington, DC.
It was in Indianapolis that Susan decided to earn a Masters Degree in Library and Information Science; and much to her surprise, found herself working – not in a public library as she had imagined – but in a corporate library setting. And it was there that fellow employees asked her to begin the word-of-the-week service that eventually developed into WORDSWORTH.
Perhaps it was her father’s relish in reciting his repertoire of favorite verse, such as The Walrus and the Carpenter, The Deacon’s Masterpiece, The Antiseptic Baby and the Prophylactic Pup, Casey at Bat, etc. Or perhaps it was soaking in the words and melodies of the Lutheran hymnal. The love of words, verse, melody, rhythm, and performance combined and clicked and gelled into WORDSWORTH.
For several years, WORDSWORTH divided her time between professional life in DC (still a corporate librarian) and writing verse on an island (Tilghman's) off Maryland's Eastern Shore in the Chesapeake Bay.
Unplanned events prompted a move back all the way to the West Coast, and she spent close to eight years as a "bi-coastal, commuting between two homes.
WORDSWORTH (Susan) is now back on her Eastern Shore island in the Chesapeake and continues to write verse and play her clarinet and piano.
WORDS'WORTH is two things in one.
WORDS'WORTH is the "nom de plume," of sorts, for the writer, Susan Jones.
WORDS'WORTH is the name Susan has given to her literary oeuvre. It is a spotlight on WORDS – old and new, familiar and unusual, domestic and foreign - combining rhyme, and quotations, and whimsy! It is a way for young and old to have fun with language.
In short, WORDS'WORTH (the product) is vocabulary verse.
It is light verse with a purpose!
Each WORDS'WORTH verse features a vocabulary word, with pronunciation, definitions, and related words. And each column includes at least one relevant quotation that uses the featured word in its text. Finally, there is a verse composed specifically for the word.
Original vocabulary verse, poeticizing words worth enjoying!
Good Words are Worth much and cost little.
Also attributed to
Reviews from amazon.com
Susan Jones, aka Words'Worth
Eastern Shore, Maryland
P: 410.886.2790M: 443.786.4709[email protected]
Also visit:Words'Worth Web SiteSusan's other pages at CIAStoryteller/EntertainerMusician
"An eclectic, poetic stroll through the vocabulary you think you know, or should know, but really have no idea about. What the heck is Boolean logic, anyway? Is Bukowski's Factotum really the best title for his seminal work? Are we wrong to call a bowl of flowers "potpourri"? Sure you could just Google it but then you'd miss out on the fun (and probably soon forget the definition anyway). Memorable, engaging, and fun." WOJ former senior editor, McGraw-Hill
The year 2015 marks the thirtieth anniversary of the Eastern Shore Writers Association (ESWA). Susan, ESWA vice-president, was tasked with researching its history over those thirty years. After many hours of online searching, interviewing, poring over newspaper microfilm and donated materials, she authored a resulting booklet, titled to reflect the statement of one interviewee in particular, who admitted that he recalled his involvement only "vaguely." In sharp contrast, "I Vaguely Recall:" is a bright, clear, engaging, and readable reflection of thirty years of a most valuable Eastern Shore institution.
Copies are available a local libraries. Purchase for $5.00 from an ESWA officer or contact: [email protected]
Would you like your own personalized verse - with, or without, a featured vocabulary word? Why not present a friend or family member with a personalized verse for a special occasion?
I have verses for Christmas Cards and Letters, too.
Let's talk! E-mail me at