Vocabulary in Count That Day Lost
Vocabulary Examples in Count That Day Lost:
Text of the Poem
"cost..." See in text (Text of the Poem)
“Cost” repeats the idea of “self-denying” mentioned in the first stanza. Here, the narrator suggests that the “good deed” must be taxing in some small way. This seems to contradict her claims in the first stanza that the deed is extremely simple and small.
"soul..." See in text (Text of the Poem)
“Soul” in this context represents a person. In referring to a person only by this essential spirit, the narrator once again invokes religious connotations within her secular call to action.
"worse than lost..." See in text (Text of the Poem)
Eliot’s word choice in this last line is interesting because it alters the title in a very noticeable way. From the beginning we know that we are going to read about a day that has been “lost.” Here, Eliot’s warning is more ominous, as the day will be “worse than lost.” If at the end of the day we have not actively helped benefit the lives of others, the day was somehow “bad” or even “evil.”
"glance..." See in text (Text of the Poem)
“Glance,” a verb meaning to take a brief and hurried look, is an action that requires very little effort on the part of the actor. With words like this, the narrator suggests that the “good deed” she wants everyone to perform each day is extremely simple.
"livelong..." See in text (Text of the Poem)
Eliot frequently underscores the incredible length of a single “livelong day” throughout the poem. Thus, kindness and goodwill are not only easily enacted, but they “cost” the individual a very small amount of their time in the grand scheme of things. By emphasizing the number of hours in the day, Eliot reminds us that we all have time to help others.
"fell..." See in text (Text of the Poem)
The verb “fell” used in this line, is passive in the way that “glance” in the previous line is. Eliot uses repetition of passive verbs to remind the reader that selfless acts of kindness require very little effort from us. We can make someone’s day with a merely a kind glance in their direction.