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36 Shades of Fear

Teodora is a bilingual writer. She is the author of two books, a poetry volume and a collection of short stories.


26 Poetic Definitions of Fear (in alphabetical order)

Abysmal apprehension

Bilious bugbear

Creeping chimera

Deceiving disquietude

Foreboding frisson

Ghostlike grip

Harrowing heartbeats

Insidious idea

Joyless jumpiness

Knavish keeper

Lurking lunacy

Mischievous misgiving

Nagging nervousness

Overwhelming obsession

Pulsating panic

Quivering question

Raving restlessness

Shivering sensation

Turbulent tremor

Ubiquitous uneasiness

Vicious vortex

Wicked worry

Xaronkaroo Xanax

Yellow yield

Zealous zombie

I’m infinitely afraid of finite things

of what tomorrow [sometimes] brings.

I’m quite afraid of must and could

of have to, shouldn’t, can’t, and would.

I’m somewhat afraid to play by the book

of all the chances that I never took.

I’m hardly afraid of storms and quakes

and even less of bats and snakes.

I’m never afraid of summer days

nor of my dream lover’s gaze.


I know one or two things about fear. Ok, that’s not true. I definitely know more than two things. Even though it’s very difficult sometimes, I believe that there is something to be learned from everything, which is why I also added a poem that ends on a positive note.

The poetic definitions of fear were a real challenge. I tried to keep an adjective + noun structure. In addition, both the adjective and the noun in each line begin with the same letter, following alphabetical order. The X, Y, and Z lines gave me a headache.

© 2021 Teodora Gheorghe

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