May 03, 2005

The Poetry Corner

windows From the American Dialect Society mailing list: a little hymn by Clive James to Windows and its grammar checker, forwarded by ADS-Ler Neil Crawford.

'A poet [...] must master the rules of grammar before he attempts to bend or break them.'

--Robert Graves, letter to 'The Times', 1961 (cited by David Crystal, The Stories of English, Allen Lane, London, 2004, 182)
Clive James rush in where angels fears to tread!

Saturday Poem by Clive James


Windows is shutting down, and grammar are
On their last leg. So what am we to do?
A letter of complaint go just so far,
Proving the only one in step are you.

Better, perhaps, to simply let it goes.
A sentence have to be screwed pretty bad
Before they gets to where you doesnt knows
The meaning what it must of meant to had.

The meteor have hit. Extinction spread,
But evolution do not stop for that.
A mutant languages rise from the dead
And all them rules is suddenly old hat.

Too bad for we, us what has had so long
The best seat from the only game in town.
But there it am, and whom can say its wrong?
Those are the break. Windows is shutting down.

—The Guardian Review, 30 April 2005, 36

Posted by Arnold Zwicky at May 3, 2005 12:13 PM