I wanted to add a poem to my book but I can't manage to convey my meaning in the right words. The first sentence was about bells that indicate _____. That was where my sentence end. The meaning that I want to express was something unpredictable happened but no one knows whether it is good or bad. I've been trying to find a word for this meaning on the internet and it doesn't give much help except for giving me Ambivalent and Agathokakological. I asked many people but they keep giving answers like Uncertain and doubtful, which did not help at all because I wasn't putting the 'feeling' words in the poem since the poem itself is hinting at the theme and mood.

If you don't understand what I'm talking about, feel free to ask questions so I could clarify my question.

Edit: I think I'm looking for a phrase that isn't too long.

  • The word indicate could be getting in your way, since the bells do not indicate something to us, and they are not ambivalent. For us, the bells indicate nothing. They ring. May 13, 2021 at 14:32
  • @Yosef Baskin Well, not really if the bells stand for something in a poem. That was why the chiming of bells indicated something unpredictable has happened that no one knows whether it's good or not. Hint: Ever heard of 'Wedding bells' and 'Funeral bells'? May 13, 2021 at 15:00
  • How are 'uncertain' and 'doubtful' not working for you? They seem to match well your description. Can you make explicit your criteria that need to be included? Also are you looking for a single word, or a phrase, or some metaphor?
    – Mitch
    May 13, 2021 at 15:39
  • @Mitch It's complicated. I don't want to straight out tell the reader that the poem is about uncertainty and besides, the sentence 'The bells urgent chimings indicates uncertainty' doesn't quite make sense. And to answer your second question: I'm looking for what's available to me, such as implying the meaning of the bells to the next line. May 13, 2021 at 15:57
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    If you say bells, you need to mention the fact they ring. We don't even know if this is technical, poetic, literary, scientific or other. Also, do you mean the presence of bells (like their being there, or hanging there) or their ringing?? There is a big difference.
    – Lambie
    May 13, 2021 at 17:47

1 Answer 1


This may not work for you, but since it's a poem, you have certain liberties, especially for using and connecting words for colorful expressions rather than simple concise meaning. I was thinking you could almost make up your own word for it, or connect some existing, and then (if necessary) use the following line or two to clarify what that word meant in the context. Maybe like this;

The Blueburn Bell was heard aloud. Uncertain eyes were met about. They knew from tales for what it stood. Uncertain, though, of bad or good.

I don't know if that's anything close to your format, but hopefully, you get the idea.

  • You might want to tell us about that source....
    – Lambie
    May 13, 2021 at 17:16
  • @Lambie what source are you referring to?
    – storbror
    May 13, 2021 at 19:41
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    For that Blueburn Bell sentence. What is that?? I should just leave because these kinds of questions that go on and on and where the OP is not specific and everyone says a bunch of disconnected stuff, drive me nuts. It sounds like the question is a meta question with a blank to be filled in, then, I discover s/he wants something "poetic". Well, I've said (and done) my piece. :)
    – Lambie
    May 13, 2021 at 19:55
  • @Lambie I made it up for the answer :) If, by formatting it the way I did, I presented it incorrectly - misleadingly, I apologize.
    – storbror
    May 13, 2021 at 20:00

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