Expanding Vocabulary…What I do!

I love to play with words.  I love the sound, the beat, the rhythm, the way they work together in harmony, I simply love all kinds of words.  When I begin writing a story of any kind whether that is poetry, novellas, plays, short stories, novels, etc I always grab a copy of my favorite authors off my shelf.  I especially love Pablo Neruda, Billy Collins, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Ted Hughes, David Budbill (Happy Life is one of my favorite poetry books), Cold Mountain, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Veronica Franco, Anais Nin, Charles Bukowski, and Seamus Heaney to just name a few and I scan their poems for words that I have never used before or would like to use in my own poetry.  I have a notebook next to me and I write down the vocabulary words, and I see if there is any common ground amongst them such as rhythm.  I then practice my alliteration and see how the words flow together for example: victorious vivacious vibrance.  I am not expecting the reader to take the group of words and understand them as a whole; I want the reader to enjoy the sounds as much as I do.  I have received feedback on my alliteration and I appreciate the way people feel about the sounds.  Good luck!