spillikins

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spillikins

Brit a game in which players try to pick each spillikin from a heap without moving any of the others
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Spillikins

 

a collection of very small toy objects (plates, ladders, hats, sticks, and others). The game of spillikins consists of removing one toy after another from a pile of toys with a special hook without touching or scattering the remaining objects. In the figurative sense, to play at spillikins means to be occupied with trivialities.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Opening General Session Entertainment: Jackstraws Full Sail
Here, as often in Jackstraws, Simic's poetic speaker seems to suffer from an advancing case of limited perspective: the multiple implications of what he tells us constantly outdistance his awareness of them, so that the poem works on one level as fable, on another as confession.
CHARLES SIMIC is the author of fourteen collections of poetry, the latest of which is Jackstraws. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1990 for The World Doesn't End.
Here lies a field of charcoal-crusted lodgepole pines, strewn about the ground like jackstraws. But this place, albeit dramatic, is a rare sight within Yellowstone.