word of the day: joss
context: Our narrator is visiting “friend Chang [in] San Francisco …
He lit a joss-stick long and black.
Then the proud gray joss in the corner stirred …
The great gray joss on the rustic shelf,
Rakish and shrewd, with his collar awry,
Sang impolitely, as though by himself …
‘Back through a hundred, hundred years
Hear the waves as they climb the piers,
Hear the howl of the silver seas,
Hear the thunder!
Hear the gongs of holy China …’”
definitions: “an image or statue representing a Chinese deity” – MS Word dictionary
“In the European view of Chinese mythology, Joss is a household deity and his cult image, which the Portuguese and other Europeans called an ‘idol’. Joss is not Chinese, but originates from the Portuguese word deos ‘god’.” -- Wikipedia
joss stick “incense in the form of a stick of dried paste” – MS Word dictionary
source: Vachel Lindsay’s “The Chinese Nightingale”, Prize Poems, 1913-1929 (1930) edited by Charles A. Wagner; Bonibooks