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Poetry Friday -The Grammar Police

44 Common Confusions to Annoy the Grammar Police
A fair bit of grammatical word play in this poem. For me, word play remains a critical part of writing poetry.  I recall a wonderful story of two retired teachers, who regularly met for coffee. They both carried a stick of chalk with them just in case they had to correct the spelling, or grammar on various cafe noticeboards.

As Ralph Fletcher wrote in his book, Pyrotechnics On The Page
'Like most writers I know, I have always had an abiding interest in words for their own sake.' 

I'm with Ralph on this. I indulge in wordplay for a number of conscious reasons. When I write like this, I am motivated by a need to be:
  • Playful with words
  • A bit surprising
  • Deliberately irreverent
  • Humorous
Hope you enjoy this poem on Poetry Friday.


The Grammar Police

Anna Gram thought her teacher
Miss Anthrop
Was an undercover agent
-for the Grammar Police.

Anna feared for the words huddled in her notebook.
…maybe her nouns were common
And possessive
Were her verbs passive?
Did her adjectives demonstrate?
She knew some of her pronouns had trouble reaching agreement
-and her infinitives had spilt.
She suspected some of her ellipses may have been guilty of having an extra dot.
She occasionally misplaced her modifiers
And far too many of her sentences were simple and this gave her a complex.
She felt her vowels rumble and her colon collapse.
Her hopes had come to a full stop.
There, their, they’re
Said her friend, Con Junction.
I will hide her red pen…

Alan j Wright

Supreme Court Sits as the Grammar Police - Bloomberg

Comments

  1. Oh I love this Alan. So very clever, and made me lough out loud. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sally. I had so much fun making it work and adding in as many grammatical terms as I could think of. Wordplay is such a buzz for this poet. I've got my dad to thank for that. It was such a feature of my formative years.

      Delete
  2. I love me a good word play. This poem is a delight. I especially like: "And far too many of her sentences were simple and this gave her a complex" - I can relate! You achieved your humorous goal. : )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Bridget. Pleased that my efforts made you favourably disposed towards my grammatical efforts.

      Delete
  3. I remember a few years back that some group was actually traveling the country here with paintbrushes & paint in hand to correct billboards. It felt like a mission where another would have been more helpful for mankind. I love this thoughtful friend who 'will hide the red pen', Alan. Wonder how it's going via Zoom? Happy weekend to you & yours, hoping all is well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those red pen people will be somewhat stressed in these days of Zoom I suspect, Linda. Stay safe and be well. Always good to hear from you.

      Delete
  4. This is so much fun! And I second hiding the red pen--word play is much more fun. Hope you are staying well.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks Kay. Word play is indeed a delight...
    I am well and embracing the ‘solitude.’ For me it’s a chance to make some creative moves without the normal distractions. Be well, be safe,

    ReplyDelete

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