Dowel, Dobet, Dobest: Writer’s Quote Wednesday

To write one must engage with the world around. Imagination is not the everything, imagination needs feeding with experience and observation. Life is what feeds writers.

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Granny, my father’s mother, used to like this expression. She liked the sound of the words as did I. Whether she had ever read Piers Plowman I know not, it was years after her death that I ever knew myself. She might well have done of course, she was certainly religious and a reader, although I seem to remember her tastes running more to heroic romances of the Walter Scott type. The language within this work would have appealed to the religious side of her, the seeking of truth which leads to the creation of these three characters, the rhythms and poetry of the words would have appealed to the Welsh in her.

I maybe doing her wrong to say I do not believe she was intimate with the work. My mind wonders if her father or grandparents maybe had passed the three words to her. In true Victorian style as an aide to acceptable behaviour. Or maybe, and probably, those bewhiskered frock-coated gentlemen also loved the words for the fun and sound of them. This is the sadness of past ages, we will never know everything we would like.

Anyway Granny would tell us to Dowel, Dobet and Dobest whenever we had an exam or test of importance in our lives at school.  The happy, laughing and playful sounds would put a lift in a nervous walk to school. I would conjure up visions of small round dumpling figures – I suspect they were, in reality, tall, thin and sharp featured. My Granny was stout and smiley I took my impression of the words from the person who gave them to me.


This quote is part of Silver Threading’s  Writer’s Quote series. Writer’s who have helped inspire my writing and my life. Pop over and follow other quotes there are many inspiring posts

3 thoughts on “Dowel, Dobet, Dobest: Writer’s Quote Wednesday

  1. alberta says:

    ’tis great to be back – missed you all:)

  2. Silver Threading says:

    Oh, I like that quote. Granny had some wise words I believe. Glad to see you back! <3

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