- skill or expertise in a particular activity or field."his prowess as a fisherman"
synonyms: skill, expertise, mastery, facility, ability, capability, capacity, savoir faire, talent, genius, adeptness, aptitude, dexterity, deftness, competence, accomplishment, proficiency, finesse.
informalknow-how"his prowess as a winemaker"
antonyms: inability, ineptitude
Last night I was reading about Felix Adler's role in building one of the first free Kindergartens in New York City. His Kindergarten was quickly expanded to become the Workingman's School, later to become one of the most prestigious private schools in New York. At a lecture in Buffalo, Adler described a meeting with an aging poet, who I'd suspected was Walt Whitman*. The poet turned to him and said,
"That is all very well. I like your factories and your wealth; but tell me, do they turn out men down your way?"And Adler asks, "Is this civilization of ours turning out men--manly men and womanly women?"
The Sacredness of Work
The house-builder at work in cities or anywhere,
The preparatory jointing, squaring, sawing, mortising,
The hoist-up of beams, the push of them in their places, laying them regular.
Setting the studs by their tenons in the mortises, according as they were prepared,
The blows of mallets and hammers--Paeans and praises to Him! -- Walt Whitman
Make, fix, create.
*When asked about Adler's quote of the "aging poet," Walt Whitman said, "I guess that's me: and it is very kindly and friendly, isn't it?"