May 15th 2019
___ To harken is to listen attentively.
‘Tis also spelled “hearken.” “Harken” is the most used spelling in the United States; “Hearken” most common in British use. Both spellings are pronounced [HAR-kuhn].
Definitions via the Oxford English Dictionary online references include:
1. … To apply the ears to hear; to listen, give ear.
2. … To listen privily; to play the eavesdropper; to eavesdrop.
3. … To apply the mind to what is said; to attend, have regard; to listen with sympathy or docility.
Okay, now “harken” this: the 2nd definition above is listed as obsolete. However, it may still apply. Someone who “harkens” might be an eavesdropper, if they find the subject they stumble upon intriguing.
● Camille harkened her dad’s regaling the day he met her mother and fell in love, and she anticipated a man to do the same with her.
● Penny was organizing the back storeroom, unseen when her supervisor Mr. Walty entered the front office and made a phone call. She overheard him talk about plans to fire her, and she harkened, with disbelief, the reasons he gave.
● Oliver is a divorced father restricted to one week per month custody. He puts effort and care to persuade his children to harken his advice and guidance.
● As her son describes his plans to join the Peace Corps two years abroad, Valerie harkens with a lump in her throat.
● David harkens his love’s desires.
What subjects inspire you to harken?
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