Thursday, May 8, 2008

Be very afraid -- poetry

Rules of English

Robert Lowth, too trivial even for trivial pursuit
Said, in 1762, [In a "short introduction to English Grammar" that]
"Thou shalt not end a sentence in a preposition." [I may be paraphrasing here.]
And, even though flat out wrong, the world
Bent
Perhaps I should be thankful, as sinning by violating grammatical
rules is easier on the pocketbook and the knees than the more
celebrated types of violation.
But if for him, why not me? And you, too, should get the thrill
of the small sin.
So, I declare
The word "flaxseed" should occur with much greater frequency in English.
I should no longer follow E. It's time I got to be the leader. E has
his own way for much too long.
Junior High English teaches should be force to wear a scarlet
"ain't" prominently displayed at all times. Even when bathing.
When you split an infinitive, the person next to you must pay you a quarter.
If someone could arrange for the "lay" "lie" distinction to disappear
under unclear circumstances, there may be a cash reward.

To master a stupid rule, to master a rule imposed by some authority,
incorporating the authority of the original into yourself is
sympathetic magic. You beome stronger at the expense of the world,
which becomes less rich. You what this was about, didn't you?
Don't impose your rules on me. I'll split my infinitives. I might
split something else even. I might even wear plaid with polka dots.
Consider the source. Lay Off.

Dec. 2004

2 comments:

James said...

genie you are my favorite poet.

djinn said...

Back in the extraordinarily short time that I was attempting internet dating I had an intense online relatioonship with an accountant; we broke up prior to meeting largely due to this poem.