The bookseller gave me a look. You know, the ‘you’re a failure at everything if you don’t understand grammar’ look.
I’m going to make a confession here. I bought a book on basic English grammar last night. Why? For two reasons.
1) Now that I’m writing more seriously, I need to be able to know the ins and outs of grammar, from the basic to the complex if I want to improve.
2) A kid at the school I’m working at at the moment came up and asked me what a verb was, and I had NO IDEA.
Wow, that’s embarrassing. I fail at grammar. For all these years I’ve been getting on by my instincts and thinking that I’m doing all right, until some kid comes up to me and asks for the meaning of one of the most basic grammatical words. I told him that a dinosaur was chasing him, then I hid under a table and cried out of shame. A writer who doesn’t know grammar. What is the world coming to?
Now you grammar aficionados may be reading this post and cringing at all the errors, but I’m doing the best I can. I’m going to take the easy route and blame my teachers for not forcing me to learn more about linguistics. And then I’m going to pick up this book and learn for myself, because that’s the kind of go-getter I am.
So much grammar fails.
How do you do it? I’ve recently been reading a few of the poetry blogs around and I just don’t understand how it all works. I’ve never been able to write poetry and I greatly admire those who can, because you’ve reached a place I can never enter.
It’s not only that I can’t write it, I also don’t understand what’s supposed to be good or bad. All of the poetry I’ve read on the blogs seems good, but how can I know? I don’t even know whether poems are supposed to rhyme, or the syllables are the same in each line. Please tell me! Do you just whip it out, or is it a long winded process?
I would like to share with you my greatest poem, the pinnacle of my skill:
There was a girl Bell
who wanted to cast a spell.
She wriggled her nose,
as she started to pose
and her sister did a foul smell.
I wrote that when I was eight. Good stuff? I know. English class really didn’t focus on this branch of writing, a failing I will never forgive my many teachers for. They show you how to write fifty thousand analysis essays, but don’t allow your creative side to shine through. I don’t want to constantly be writing about someone else’s work. I would much prefer to be taught the basics of an amazing area of writing.
I fear it’s too late for me to learn, but poets please continue to do your thing. Don’t let poetry die out!