Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Phrasing in Poetry

Here's an article about phrasing in poetry, with attention to grammar.

My stance, as a writer and reader and editor of poetry, is that in this form of literature the language is fluid.  All rules may be broken in pursuit of expression.  The catch is that the poem still has to work.  If breaking the rules makes the poem less clear and/or less engaging to the reader, that's a flaw.  Same for following the rules.

That odd little thing the author is griping about?  It expresses a concept that English grammar doesn't support in standard format.  It's a half-step between simultaneous and sequential action, with a particular flavor of compression.  I use it -- when I want that exact effect in the flow of the action.  I've also seen people overuse it, and I suspect they've picked it up because they've seen it somewhere without necessarily realizing its precise purpose.  Then again, someone else may have their own interpretation of how it works and what it's for.

Don't use a quirky technique unless you need it; but when you do, don't let people talk you out of it.  Grammar, vocabulary, spelling, punctuation -- those are all just means to an end, communication.  If they don't do what you need straight out of the box, you can rearrange them as necessary.
Tags: how to, networking, poetry, reading, writing
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