Grammar and Poetry – It’s How You Look at Things

April 29, 2013

They’re. Their. There.

Are You a Rule or an Idea Person? When it comes to grammar rules I like to make my own  and I like them to be memorable.  I do that with mnemonics

They’re

You can remember that
They’re my friends,
so  use y in both words.

Their

You can remember that
Their has the next to I in it –
The book is theirs, I have my own.

There

You can remember that
There is a from of here (a place to be)
It’s not here it’s over there.

Speaking of new ways to look at old things:

The Voice of Poetry

Poetry is the nexus for all writing, whether it be fiction or nonfiction, screenplays or plays. Maybe some poetry lives in a rarified atmosphere that leaves most readers a little dizzy. I don’t know, but I do know that a fiction writer must be able to breathe that air.

The mastery of language is our duty. We enter this world by placing one word after another in comprehensible and unique ways.

– Walter Mosley, The Writing Life, Washington Post  11/20/05

Giving writers the prompts of ‘archeology’ and ‘relationships’ these two poems came about:

Excavation

In this heat,

beyond your downward

burrowing shoulder

I observe the

moving fan—

shaking and trembling—

its motion

mirroring our moves,

an incessant rhythm

on the desk

where you have

pinned me;

like no collector

ever has.

Collector. Collected.

Connected by stinging sweat.

But I am not

opened here—

exhibited—

Bell-jarred and

unsullied.

Though it is true—

I am

your possession

and gloriously,

I find

you to be an archeologist.

Digging deep

discovering

what long has been buried.

Explorer of this

cipher, keep searching—

shift more of this sad sand away.

inscribe me—

assemble me—

or better yet,

call me by

my Latin Name.

The Find

I found a girl in the sand.

A hand at first,

alone.

With more yet to unearth.

At every turn

She burned me.

Hotter than

the surrounding sands.

Grit in places

I never expected.

I dug so deep

keeping a whispered pledge

not to break

her.

She made me work.

So hard

my hat fell

from my head in

exertion.

So that the brilliance of

the sun

in our eyes

blinded my discovery

and me.

Which do you think was written by a woman, and which by a man? Is that something you decided by the poetic voice they employed, or by the pronouns used?

What would you think if I said both were written by men? Or both by women?

Which poem touches you more? Why?

Did any of the phrasing move you as you read it? Did either poem reach you more than the other? Can you see yourself writing like this?

With your own work – whether Poetry or Fiction, or Creative Non-fiction, or even your blogs, are you writing of I or Me or Mine in ways that are more universal, and less self-facing for your readers?   Is that the trick to the mastery of writing that reaches more folks? Telling stories?

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2 Responses to “Grammar and Poetry – It’s How You Look at Things”


  1. You can definitely see your enthusiasm within the
    work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to mention how they believe.
    At all times follow your heart.

  2. Dolly Says:

    Amber was eliminated! It’s almost like she was set up to fail but passed EVERY dance test. 1st the Waltz really all the others had up beat routines, 2nd Tango…I must say I was impressed and I know others were surprised that she dance it so well and finally her own style which she KILLED…she and Brandon…and then whtAI#8230;EL&MINaTED!!! Judges you goofed up AGAIN!

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